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Tormented Virtue – Grapes Of W Essay, Research Paper

Tormented Virtue

A fallen preacher who too often succumbed to temptation became the a leader of

righteousness. In John Steinbeck s The Grapes of Wrath, Jim Casy left the ministry when

he realized that he did not believe in the Christian ideas about sin, just as Jesus turned

away from his religion and its arrogant ridge beliefs. Casy was a mixture of the

goodness of Jesus Christ and the weakness of the common man.

Jim Casy can be seen as a modern day Christ figure. The initials of his name, J.C.,

are the same as those of Jesus Christ. Casy and Jesus Christ both saw a common

goodness in the average man and saw everyone as holy. …I figgered, ‘maybe it’s all men

an’ all women we love: maybe that’s the Holy Sperit- the human sperit- the whole

shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.” Casy believed that we all

have a small part of a larger soul, and everybody are holy and therefore equal.

Casy believed that every one are created equal no matter what their appearances,

social class, or status might be. He showed this by never speaking a harmful word

towards anyone even when he sacrificed his own life to help raise the wages of migrant

workers, and didn t hesitate to keep on fighting when he was called slanderous names,

such as Okies and Reds. Like Christ, Casy was jailed and later he aroused the hostility of

the authority and was brutally slain. Casy s last words were “You don’ know what you’re

a-doin,” which are ironically similar to Christ when he said to his crucifers, …they know

not what they do.

Although Jim Casy has seemingly always been a man of God, he battled with his

faith throughout the book. He began to have doubts about God, Jesus, and the afterlife

altogether. He went from a man of God to a man of the people.

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.’ ”

He believed that a person should do what they feel and he didn t believe in sin or virtue.

“I didn’ even know it when I was preachin’, but I was doin’ some consid’able tom-cattin’

around.” He told of times when he lacked responsibility, filled girls up with the Holy

Spirit by his preachings and then frequently took them out with him to “lay in the grass.”

Within himself, his personal values clashed against each other in a battle between sin and


Jim Casy was a tormented man at war with his soul, a common man that has

sinned and has many faults, he still showed noble and fair qualities that made him

benevolent. I believe that Jim Casy represented the good and bad of all men. But he had a

certain something that made him what he was. He had an almighty godliness with a flair.

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