Literary Influences In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

431 Words2 Pages
Literary Influences John Steinbeck had many literary influences, but arguably the most important one is the idea of the Oversoul. The Oversoul appears when Casey an ex-preacher is seeking a new way of life. In the novel, Casey speaks about how “ [he has] a little piece of a great big soul…[that] wasn’t no good, less it was with the rest”(Steinbeck 475). This viewpoint which Casey had acquired was exactly what Ralph Waldo spoke about in his paper about the Oversoul(The Oversoul.) The Oversoul has a huge impact on the novel as a symbol of cooperation which is seen many times, this idea of working together is what influenced Casey “to take blame…[because he had] no kids.”(Steinbeck 322). Tom later comes to understand the meaning of Casey’s words and promised to continue fighting the injustices of the migrant farmers as a whole rather than just protecting his family showing just how powerful the influence of the Oversoul is in the novel. The Oversoul had a significant influence in Grapes of Wrath as a whole affecting the plot and characters. Additionally The Grapes of Wrath is influenced by The King James…show more content…
Humanism plays an important factor in The Grapes of Wrath but it dosen’t play an important role until later in the novel. The Joads start off with a religious philosophy but slowly start to gain a more humanly based philosophy( "Dora Games." : Humanism in The Grapes of Wrath). This is evident when every chapter is looked at closely for example when Uncle John asks Casey if he did a sin “to let [my] wife die” to which Casey tells him that if he believes it's a sin then it is (Steinbeck 281). This shows that Casey believes in rational explanations rather than questioning if a higher power approves of his actions. Essentially humanism is an influence that isn't visible at first but actually plays an important role in the development of the characters

More about Literary Influences In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

Open Document