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Word Count: 1,334
John Steinbeck is an author known worldwide for his compelling stories and novels One such novel is The Grapes of Wrath This novel was written to expose the plight of those dispossessed from their lands by the Great Depression Steinbeck uses several literary elements to help relate the story to the reader In The Grapes of Wrath as in his other works Steinbeck relies on the use of symbolism to strengthen and enhance the plot By far the most involved example of symbolism is found in the character of the preacher Jim Casy Casy not only is a Christ figure but also embodies the belief of Transcendentalism These are supported by many examples throughout the story Some of these examples are easily noticed others require more thought to be understood The symbolism found in Jim Casy does a great deal to bring together the events that make up the story That Casy is a Christ figure can be shown in several ways One obvious or perhaps not as obvious as it may seem similarity between Casy and Christ is that they share the same initials JC It was not merely coincidence that Steinbeck chose the name Jim Casy Initials however are not the only thing that Casy and Christ share Another similarity is that both men went into the wilderness before coming back to the public life Christ went into the desert for a period of forty days of intense prayer with the Father before coming into his public life of preaching Casy follows a slightly different but on the whole similar pattern Casy tells the reader that he had been a preacher but had become unsure of what holy really means He spent four years away from society and after spending some time with the Joad family has fully developed his religious beliefs and transforms his words into action These words that Casy preaches toward the end of the story are those
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