Biblical References in Grapes of Wrath Essay

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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. Noah stood on the ground, looking up at the great load of them sitting on top of the truck (Steinbeck 113)” This passage relates to the loading of animals into Noah’s Ark in Genesis 7:15 where it is written that …show more content…
Another biblical reference is shown when the Joad’s move to California. Their journey to California from Oklahoma is a biblical reference due to the similarity to the exodus of the Jews to Israel from Egypt. This is distinguished by the similarities between the Joad’s and the Jews, the Joad’s were captives of their farm while the Jews were captives of Egypt. Throughout their journey, Ma becomes a Moses like figure but leading the family through hard times and tries to keep the family together. She kept the family moving towards California even though Grandma was dead in her lap. California was the promised land for the Joad’s and other Okies and Ma led the family there.
California brings about another biblical allusion. As part of Moses bringing his people out of Egypt, he told of a promised land to where he would take the Israelites, and that land was Canaan. For the Joad’s and many other migrants, California was the promised land they were searching for. Apart from both of the promised lands beginning with the letter C, they had many things in common. “The vineyards, the orchards, the great flat valley, green and beautiful…the peach trees and the walnut groves, and the dark green patches of oranges (Steinbeck 227).” This is an allusion to the promised land of the Jews, where in Numbers 13:27 it states “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit (Zondervan 207).” Both lands were bursting with