Biblical Allusions In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Effects of Biblical Allusions on The Grapes of Wrath In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a gifted American author, John Steinbeck, was able to publish a novel with blatantly Leninist, communist leanings called The Grapes of Wrath. Although it was hated by some, it was read by many, and even led to Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize in 1962, during the height of American anti-communism and the Cold War. America was able to accept this communistic novel mainly due Steinbeck’s ingenious mixture of realism, Leninism, and abundant Biblical references. John Steinbeck’s use of religious symbols helped to deliver Steinbeck’s Leninist message disguised within a story that often references the Bible and the teachings and love expressed therein, through the interactions of representations of Peter the Apostle and Jesus Christ, the ideal worlds of the promised land and the Garden of Eden, and the love surrounding the Song of Solomon’s Rose of Sharon and a Moses figure. Steinbeck begins the story with heavy handed parallels between Jim Casy and Tom Joad and Jesus Christ and his apostle, Simon Peter, respectively. Throughout the story, Steinbeck’s main communistic points are delivered by Jim Casy, who, in addition to sharing initials with Jesus Christ, is a Christ-like figure. However, before Casy shares anything too radical, Steinbeck is careful to establish similarities between Casy and Christ, starting when Casy tells Tom, “I went off alone, an' I sat and figured. The sperit's strong in me, on'y it ain't the same. I ain't…show more content…
In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck’s use of religious symbolism and Biblical allusions highlights and augments his anti-capitalist, pro-communist
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