The Grapes of Wrath

Essay by Jes8668High School, 11th gradeA+, July 2002

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John Steinbeck's classic novel, the Grapes of Wrath, ventured into a time of poverty at its height. During the Great Depression, hardships and turmoil were around every corner. As they journeyed from their home, many of the characters in this book went through their own personal trials. Jim Casy, an ex minister, is a character that soul searched throughout the trip to find all the hidden answers to his burdening questions. As he and the Joads embarked on their journey to California, he expressed his conflicting feelings, and ideas of Christ, and the call that was on his life. Steinbeck illustrated Jim's life as a preacher, and the thoughts and the actions that changed his beliefs.

In his past, Jim Casy had a call on his life to be a preacher. He was the minister of a small church in Oklahoma. When Tom Joad was traveling home, he stumbled into his former preacher, Jim Casy. After Casy was recognized as the minister, he was quick to correct Tom. "I was a preacher," he said promptly. (Steinbeck 26) Jim was very enthusiastic about his calling from the Lord. As Jim reflected on his former profession, he said to Tom, "I was a Burning Busher. Used to howl out the name of Jesus to glory?. But not now." (Steinbeck 26) He used to get the whole congregation going. They would jump up in their seats and shout their admirations and amens. But for Jim Casy, those days were over.

Over time, something caused the views and ideas of the preacher to change. Soon after Tom met Jim, he saw the difference in him. The minister began to think about a lot of sinful acts, and his faith became more and more unorthodox. "Just Jim Casy now. Ain't got the...