The Theme Of Jesus Christ In John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath

Decent Essays

In the New Testament, James 1:12 states, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life.” This verse represents the pugnacious will of humankind and the idea that better will come soon. In the novel Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, the author follows the pilgrimage of the Joad family and Jim Casy on their path to a land supposedly filled with opportunity. He traces their path and the various struggles they face on their journey to creating a new life for themselves. Steinbeck utilizes Christian symbols to emphasize the development of the characters, specifically the members of the Joad family and Jim Casy, who all individually represent the theme of religion because it unites them and gives them hope. Jim Casy, a martyr and leader with a large following, reflects the sacrifices of Jesus Christ for the downtrodden by rebelling against the privileged and the religious constrictions of their time. Jim Casy parallels Jesus Christ in many ways throughout the novel. Steinbeck purposefully gave Jim Casy the same initials as Jesus Christ in order to signify the link between these two influential figures. Jim Casy, like Jesus Christ, is consistently willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. When a scuffle ensues between Tom Joad and a police officer in Hooverville, Jim Casey offers take the blame: “‘Somebody got to take the blame. I got no kids. They’ll jus’ put me in jail, an’ I ain’t doin’ nothin’

Get Access