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The renowned writer Mark Twain once said, "Surely the [one] who invented the first religion ought to be the first [one] damned". In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, protagonist Jim Casy shares Twain's perspective on religion. Casy, a former reverend reunites with Tom Joad, an ex-convict. After losing touch with his religious beliefs, he finds faith in the "Human Spirit". Steinbeck's portrayal of Jim Casy as Jesus Christ serves to reveal his purpose of the novel, which is to persuade humans to become self-reliant. The author places emphasis on the moral obligations of society, which is to serve and assist each other, and also extends to the idea that humans are capable of becoming their own saviors. Individuals are not to depend in a divinity for a solution to the corruption and dishonesty in their society, and must use their abilities to find such answers within themselves.
Jim Casy's actions reflect upon the actions of Jesus Christ. According to the bible, Jesus Christ was lead out with two other men to be executed. As they arrived to the Skull, he was crucified. Before his death, he states," Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Bible) Jim Casy's final words mirror Christ's last statement when he dies when his head is crushed during a violent worker strike. Right before his death, he states to the police, " You fellas don' know what you're doin. You're helpin' starve kids." (386) This statement Casy makes portrays that he represents Jesus Christ in the novel, but it also shows Steinbeck support of transcendentalism. The words "you fellas" has a very didactic tone, showing that he finds himself with some amount of power enabling him to judge the actions of the men. However, Christ...

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...corruption and conflict that exists in society.
The allusion of Jim Casy as Jesus Christ serves the purpose of the novel, which is to encourage society to become self-reliant, rather than relying on a religion for guidance and solutions. The author emphasizes the true capabilities of each individual in destroying the corrupted aspects of society. Jesus Christ was a preacher, encouraging people to follow the religion, while Casy became an advocate for the reliance on humanity. Both of them remained passionate two opposing beliefs, yet their actions remain similar. This correlation supports the concept of self-reliance. Individuals have the capabilities of solving their own issue, and demolishing the corrupted structure in society, instead of asking for such solutions and answers. In fact, it is this reliance in God that prevents an end for the problems in humanity.
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