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John Steinbeck carefully molded his story The Grapes of Wrath to encompass many themes and ideas He included several Biblical allusions to enforce his message of the migrating families coming together to form a community Steinbeck alludes to Biblical characters through Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon events like the familys journey to California and the flood at the end of the novel and teachings throughout the novel One of the many levels on which this novel can be read is as a parallel to the stories of Christ and the Exodus Louis Owens John Steinbecks Re-Vision of America quoted in DeMott xiiiThe Biblical allusions represented by the characters in the novel are most obvious in the characters of Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon However the Joad family is made up of twelve including Connie much like the twelve disciples that followed Jesus Connie represents the traitor the Judas figure who had betrayed Jesus the night of his arrest when he walks out on his family for selfish reasons Jim Casy is an allusion to Jesus Christ They have the same initials and live their lives as examples of their beliefs Casy even compares himself to Christ when he says I got tired like Him an I got mixed up like Him an I went into the wilderness like Him without no campin stuff 105 In the first half of the book Casy is thinking and forming his ideas He changes from a thinker to a man of action when he sacrifices himself for Tom When in prison Casy sees the advantage of organizing people to achieve a common goal When Casy tried to put his ideas into action he like Christ aroused the antagonism of the people in authority and was brutally killed Casys last words to his killers are You don know what youre a-doin Steinbeck 495 These are strikingly similar to Christs words on the cross Father forgive them for
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