Many novels written contain parallels to the Bible. This couldn’t be truer in the case John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck alludes to Biblical characters and events with the use of Rose of Sharon, Jim Casy, and also the Joad’s journey to California. There are other events in the book that parallel the Bible, although the portrayal of Rose of Sharon and Jim Casy are the most obvious.
The novel is broken into 3 different parts, the time spent in Oklahoma, the journey on the road, and the time spent in California. Each section is closely related to the three stages of the Biblical Exodus: the Israelites' time in bondage when God sent plagues to free them (chapters…show more content… Also when Uncle John puts Rose of Sharon’s stillborn child in an apple crate and floats it downstream, “Go down and tell ‘em” (Steinbeck, 571-72), it alludes to the journey that baby Moses made.
The Joad family is made up of 12 people, including Connie, and Casy as the 13th person in the journey. This can be seen as a reference to Jesus and his 12 disciples. Connie represents Judas, the traitor that turns against Jesus and the rest of his disciples. In chapter 20 Connie expresses his regret of taking the journey to California to Rose of Sharon and eventually leaves, “If I’d knowed it would be like this I wouldn’ of came” (Steinbeck, 343).
Jim Casy has to be one of the most obvious references to the Bible. His character is meant to parallel Jesus. They both have the same initials, J.C., and Casy prided himself on finding out what was wrong and right just as Jesus did with preaching the difference between good and evil. In chapter 20 Casy gives himself up and gets arrested to save Tom. This action portrays Casy as a symbol of Christ. While in prison he finds his calling as a voice for the migrant farm workers. He is ultimately crucified for his actions in chapter 26. Casy says to his murders “ ’You don’t know what you’re a-doin!’ “ (Steinbeck, 527) which parallels Jesus’ words when he is being crucified, “ ’Father, forgive them,