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Word Count: 568
In the novel The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck brings to the reader a variety of diverse and greatly significant characters However the majority of each characters individuality happens to lie within what they symbolize in the microcosm of the Joad family and their acquaintances which itself stands for the entire migrant population of the Great Depression era One such character is that of Jim Casey a former preacher and long-time friend of the Joads In this story Casey represents a latter-day Christ figure who longs to bring religious stability to the burgeon of migrant families facing West Steinbeck manages to give Jim Casey the exact initials as the historical savior JC which allows the reader to latch onto this connection from the beginning Yet Caseys relation to Christ goes beyond such mere coincidences and plays out rather in their similar plans of action One of the many similarities between Casey and Christ is that Casey had also drifted out to the forests in order to soul-search and discover the answers to sometimes hidden questions In this particular situation Casey himself states the comparison of Christs and his actions while giving a grace at the Joads breakfast table I been in the hills thinkin almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think His way out of a mess of troubles Steinbeck ch8 Casey further goes on during his rather rambling grace I got tired like HimI got mixed up like HimI went into the wilderness like Him without no campin stuff Steinbeck ch8 With Caseys character openly admitting without seeming conceited that he and Jesus Christ are in some way similar it continues to bluntly let the reader come to realize that Casey was indeed meant to be the Christ figure of this book Yet another similarity between Jim Casey and Jesus Christ can be seen when Casey decides to venture off and join a union group
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