Steinbeck's Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath

Steinbeck's Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath

Length: 432 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath


A popular literary technique that can be found in a number of literary works is the biblical allusion.  John Steinbeck perfects this technique in his novel The Grapes of Wrath by introducing a character who is symbolic of Jesus Christ.  This character, Jim Casy, not only shares initials with this biblical figure, but he also grows thoughout the novel as a speaker, a mediator, an organizer, and, most remarkably, a martyr.

At the advent of the novel, Jim Casy is quick to protest that he is no longer a preacher.  Nevertheless, evidence of his innate speaking ability is brought forth when he explains his thoughts and ideas to Tom.  For example, Casy remarks that “maybe there’s jus one but soul an everyone’s a part of it,” immediately foreshadowing his future decision to unite with other migrant workers.  Casy’s allusion to Jesus Christ serves as the force behind Tom’s character as it changes throughout the novel from self-absorbed to one who thinks about the future and what he can do to help.  Also, Casy utilizes his organizational skills when he unites some of his fellow “reds”, and they discuss the changes that need to be made.  In this very scene of the novel, deputies begin to harass the men and Casy cries out, “You don’t know what you’re doing.  You’re helpin’ to starve children.”  This is the final stage of Casy’s symbolism to Jesus  he is killed while preaching what he believes and therefore becomes a martyr for all the migrant workers.

Casy’s symbolic death can be easily predicted.  At one point he goes as far as telling Tom that “there’s gonna be sumthin dat changes the whole country” “Not no one knows bout it yet, but they will.”  Clearly, Steinbeck created this biblically alluded character for a certain purpose - to plant the concept of unity among the migrant people.

Comments

 I agree that you have done well with this essay and it is not easy to find fault with it.  However, you might look at the following sentence: "Casy’s allusion to Jesus Christ serves as the force behind Tom’s character as it changes throughout the novel from self-absorbed to one who thinks about the future and what he can do to help.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Steinbeck's Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=10969>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

- The media makes a significant contribution to the depiction of today 's society. Unfortunately, the news coverage focuses only on the misdeeds and crimes that people commit. Although it has been 76 years since John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his argument exploring the reason behind humanity 's tendency to be evil during the Dust Bowl migrant flight to California is applicable to the motivation behind crimes committed today. Throughout Chapter 25 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, he uses the progression of Utopia being destroyed by men through the allusion to the Garden of Eden and the event of Eve biting the apple....   [tags: John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Dust Bowl]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

- Ever wonder what it is like to live through the Great Depression as a farmer. Being able to work on the land and of a sudden people are leaving their homes because they were forced to leave. The only hope these farmers have now is to move out west to look for work and to have a better life. Would these farmers be able to rebuild their lives after having their old lifestyle they have known for so long to be ripped away from them or will this new idea of moving out west turned out to be hopeless in the end....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath, Great Depression]

Research Papers
1274 words (3.6 pages)

The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay

- In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck depicts the combined forces of nature and capitalism leading to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. During the 1930’s severe droughts and dust storms in the Great Plains forced a mass Exodus-like migration. In the novel, Steinbeck effectively presents the isolated struggles of one family, the Joads, while also relating them to the widespread social upheaval of the time. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck uses biblical allusions in order to instill in his readers the value of selflessness, the necessity of anger, and the inhumanity of capitalism....   [tags: Bible, The Grapes of Wrath, Great Depression]

Research Papers
1257 words (3.6 pages)

Four Powerful Women in Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

- One of the most important attributes seldom attributed to women is the innate ability to keep the family as a cohesive whole. Women are the rock in the midst of familial turmoil, the solid foundation on which a husband or head of a household can stand firm. Fully assured that womanhood will stand back of the ranks and take care of domestic needs. Women have qualities that keep the family strong, these unique attributes can divided into several standards. One being the physical aspect of “mother” nature, two virginity representing the religious type of the standard, three is the young bitch who represent the physical state while four is the old bitch who also has a spiritual side of the woman...   [tags: Grapes of Wrath]

Research Papers
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Grapes Of Wrath Biblical Allusions Essay

- John Steinbeck carefully molded his story The Grapes of Wrath to encompass many themes and ideas. He included several Biblical allusions to enforce his message of the migrating families coming together to form a community. Steinbeck alludes to Biblical characters through Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon, events like the family’s journey to California and the flood at the end of the novel, and teachings throughout the novel.      The Biblical allusions represented by the characters in the novel are most obvious in the characters of Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon....   [tags: John Steinbeck Bible Religion essays papers]

Research Papers
881 words (2.5 pages)

Biblical Allusions to The Grapes of Wrath Essay

- Biblical Allusions to The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. He studied marine biology at Stanford University and then traveled east on a freighter through the Panama Canal. Steinbeck went to New York to work as a newspaper reporter but soon returned to California and held a variety of jobs while he wrote. Steinbeck published Tortilla Flat in 1935, Of Mice and Men in 1937, and The Red Pony in 1937, which established his reputation as a forceful writer....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1466 words (4.2 pages)

Grapes Of Wrath - Allusion Essay

- Text: "He held the apple box against his chest. And then he leaned over and set the box in the stream and steadied it with his hand. He said fiercely, "Go down an' tell 'em. Go down in the street an' rot an' tell 'em that way....Maybe they'll know then." He guided the box gently out into the current and let it go" (493). "I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit- the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of.' Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent- I knew it....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
449 words (1.3 pages)

Biblical References in Grapes of Wrath Essay

- In his novel Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck integrated many biblical references and values throughout the book. This provided a more intriguing and complex style of writing that he used to tell about the Dust Bowl of the early 1900’s and the arduous journey the Joad family and many others took to reach California. The first biblical reference is revealed when the Joad family leaves for California. “the rest swarmed up on top of the load, Connie and Rose of Sharon, Pa and Uncle John, Ruthie and Winfield, Tom and the preacher....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1289 words (3.7 pages)

Symbolism in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

- Symbolism in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Through such hardships as the Depression, the Dust Bowl summers, and trying to provide for their own families, which included the search for a safe existence, we find the story of the Joad's. The Joad's are the main family in John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, which he created to give voice to the hundreds of families that found themselves at their absolute rock bottom during the Great Depression of the 20th Century in America. It wouldn't have been enough for Steinbeck to simply document the strife that faced these families in very plain terms, for anyone could have simply logged an account of events and published it....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2295 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on Irony in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

- Irony in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Many of the events in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck do not result in the expected manner. Although the Joads seem to be traveling in hope, irony seems to conquer several situations. There are three types of irony: in dramatic irony, the reader sees the characters mistakes, but not the character. In verbal irony, the author means something rather than what is said. Irony of situation is when there is a paradox between the purpose of an action and its result....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
768 words (2.2 pages)

Related Searches

"  In this sentence there is a problem with common references to "character" and the implied person of Tom.  In other words, character does not equal Tom grammatically speaking or logically, for that matter.  Tom's character has to be seen as a subset of Tom in mathematical terms.  I hope you see my point.
Return to 123HelpMe.com