Essay on The Grapes Of Wrath: Symbolic Characters

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The Grapes of Wrath: Symbolic Characters

Struggling through such things as the depression, the Dust Bowl summers, and trying to provide for their own families, which included finding somewhere to travel to where life would be safe. Such is the story of the Joads. The
Joads were the main family in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, a book which was written in order to show what a family was going through, at this time period, and how they were trying to better their lives at the same time. It wouldn't be enough for Steinbeck to simply write this story in very plain terms, as anyone could have simply logged an account of events and published it.
Critics have argued, however, that Steinbeck was too artificial in his ways of trying to
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Not only did he also begin his long trek after a stay in the wilderness, he also had rejected an old religion to try and find his own version of the gospel and convince people to follow him. His death, another aspect comparable to that of Christ, also occurred in the middle of a stream, which could represent the "crossing over Jordan" account. "Particularly significant, however, are Casy's last words directed to the man who murders him" (Shockley,
92-93). Jim's last words are to forgive the man who kills him with a pickax.
He tells him "You don't know what you're a-doing," which is a simple allusion to the statement by Jesus to God when He is being crucified and asks his Father to forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing. In this novel, even the title is a Christian allusion. The title is "a direct Christian allusion, suggesting the glory of the coming of the Lord" (Shockley, 90).
     Looking at the main character of the story, Tom Joad, even more
Christian symbolism is seen. Tom Joad is almost a direct fit for the story of the "prodigal son" from the bible. He is the son that must lead everyone across in a great journey, while symbolically already wandering from the favor of God by killing a man in self-defense. Tom must find a way to forget about this event and continue to keep his goal