What Is Jim Casey Symbolize In The Grapes Of Wrath

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“The Grapes of Wrath” is one of the best story John Steinbeck has ever written. However, readers and critics argued whether the story held any Christian symbols and meaning. Martin Shockley was one of the critics who is claiming the story does hold Christian symbols, while Eric Carlson is arguing against the claim and trying to prove there are no Christian meaning behind the story. After reading both arguments, Shockley uses the symbolism of the title of the story, Jim Casey, and the Joad family to build a better and valid case than Carlson. First, Shockley used the story title, “The Grapes of Wrath,” to prove there are Christian meaning in the story. He has mention Steinbeck is known for using Christian allegory and symbolism in his other …show more content…

He compared Casey to Jesus Christ and mentioned the parallels Steinbeck was using between the two. He has mentioned the beginning of Jesus’ mission after he withdraw into the wilderness for consecration and meditation was like Casy’s introduction. In the beginning of the story, Casy came in as an ex-preacher who had rejected an old religion and wanted to replace it with new gospel, which is also identical to Jesus. Shockley also mention how the death of Casy and the crucifixion of Jesus were similar because of their sacrifice and final words. Like Jesus, Casy also offered himself to take the sins of others. Unlike Shockley, Carlson believed Casy is not a true Christ-symbol of the story. Instead, he argued Casy is part of the American liberal-democratic tradition. During the story, Casy is no longer a preacher and left the church to become a seeker of the truth. He joined Tom and his family to migrate to California and shared their misery and suffering, which brought him closer to his goal by relying on observation, shared experience, and natural sympathy. Although Carlson believed there is a similarity between Christ and Casy’s dying words, he argues Casy’s death does not resemble the death of a redeeming Christ because Casy was not searching for his demise. The theme of his death was his love of man, which was more guided by social justice, rather than Christian beliefs. Shockley had a valid argument than Carlson because the relation between Jim Casey and Jesus Christ had many

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