Grapes Of Wrath Biblical Allusions Essay

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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. However, the Joad family is made up of twelve including Connie, much like the twelve disciples that followed
Jesus. Connie represents the traitor, the Judas figure who had
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Rose of Sharon represents a Biblical allusion towards the end of the novel. After she gives birth to her stillborn child, she gives life to a starving man by breast-feeding him. Her sacrifice suggests the notion of rebirth through Christ’s physical body which is symbolized in the ritual of communion. When she tells the man to drink her milk she alludes to the Last Supper when Christ tells his disciples “Take, drink; this is my blood.”
Rose of Sharon realizes this man will die without her, in the same way Christ said that without Him people will die spiritually. Rose of Sharon exemplifies the idea of helping others in need through her actions in the conclusion of the novel. Steinbeck also alludes to events in the Bible through situations among the Joad family. Their journey to California is much like the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to
Caanan. The novel is broken up into three sections. The first part is the Joad’s eviction from their farms under the control of the banks and companies which parallels the Israelites’ slavery to the Egyptians. Both groups struggled under the control of overwhelming forces and left in hopes of a better life. The second part is the Joad’s journey from Oklahoma across the Panhandle in search of the promised California which parallels the Israelites wandering in the desert in search of the Promised Land.
Both groups experienced many troubles, but were forced to rely