Jim Casy


Jim Casy Essay, Research Paper

Jim Casey represents how the many situations in life influence the ever-changing souls of human- beings and the search within to discover one’s true identity and beliefs

Jim Casy as a Christ Figure was more than obvious through out the book; Stienbeck made many clear connections between the two. He had all the same intentions, objectives, and morals in contrast however he lacked the tending manifest belief in the Christian faith. He was a preacher, a tool of God, chosen and sent to save the corruption amongst the people, much like Christ. Just as Jesus was exalted by many for what he stood for was supposed to be, that is until he retired from his responsibilities Casy was hailed and respected by many for just simply being a preacher. Even the way he died resembled Christ. It was selfless and sacrificial. He died saying “You don’ know what you’re a-doin.” His name was probably one of the most visible clues: Jim Casy, his initials are J.C. as in Jesus Christ. From the very beginning Steinbeck is relating and comparing him to Christ, and sending a message that he will follow similar foots as his former savior.

The Preacher Phylosophist? Casy was a perplexed person to begin the book, fresh out of preaching and using the world as his oyster; after all, now he was free from religion and the rules of it. And didn’t know how to respond to it: “Say, Casy, you been awful goddamn quiet the las’ few days…you ain’t said ten words the las’ couple days, ” Tom said. Even Casy himself had trouble speaking at all: “Now look, Tom. Oh what the hell! So goddamn hard to say anything.” Although Jim Casy has always seemingly been a man of God and Jesus, he battles with his faith throughout The Grapes of Wrath. He feels like he is contending with the very ideals he has spread to others- traditional ideals of God and Jesus. Casy started to question his own belief and what was said in the Bible. Casy lost many hours of sleep just thinking about this, and went through many days without even speaking. He began to have doubts about God, Jesus, and about the afterlife altogether. He went from a man of God to a man of everyone. He did not really know what exactly he was intended for or why. Still Casy knew what he believed, stuck to it, and strayed no more after he had made up his mind what he could be certain of. Casy believed in the Emersonian Over-Soul, that we are all a small part of a larger soul, and everybody is holy. As Tom Joad said, “one time he went out in the wilderness to find his soul, an’ he foun’ he jus’ got a little piece of a great big soul.”(Page 373) He loved people as a whole because he thought everyone to be holy in his or her way and as a community. Casy is also a harmonious man. He believes in unity and that because people are all part of something greater than themselves. As a community especially – “When they’re all workin’ together, not one fella for another fell, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang — that’s right, that’s holy”(page 71.) Then he quotes the bible “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. 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. He was confused in the beginning, but in the end, it was all clear to him, everything just came together. He stuck to his beliefs he was one of the most unprovincial, nonjudgmental in the world. Casy never asked for money while he was preaching because he knew the position his listeners were in, although he was also desperate for money. Casy said in chapter four, “I brang Jesus to your folks for a long time, an’ I never took up a collection nor nothin’ but a bite to eat. “He believed that everyone is created equal no matter what their physical differences, political class, or position in the world might be.

Preacher Casy Jim Casy was generally was a good person, regardless of his lack of faith. He was kind selfless, and more than willing to accept you for you, and not wish you to change. The inner being of Jim Casy was evolving and furthermore conflicting when he metamorphisized from a man of thought to a man of action. Most may not agree with all of Casy’s reasoning or logic. Nevertheless, it was true, Casy was Christ-like, and not many people would show his compassion for people both individually and as a whole. This man can be looked at as a martyr, ethical, sacred individual, and yet ironically “Okie”, hobo, or virtue-less bum. However The Grapes of Wrath and Jim Casy are undisputed symbols of hope, dreams, spirit and the oneness of all humanity “An’ I says, ‘Don’t you love Jesus?’ Well, I thought an’ thought an’ finally I says, ‘No, I don’t know nobody name’ Jesus. I know a bunch of stories, but I only love people.”


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