Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Grapes of Wrath: Jim Casy

A former preacher, Jim Casy is one interesting fellow. Mainly, he is not at all still following his own words, but instead he turned them around. He conceptualizes a whole new breed of holiness and godliness. He says that the most important part of society and worship is not found somewhere up in the sky, but it is actually found down here on Earth. This idea is totally radical for the time period, but Tom Joad seems to have a liking for it as he understands it more. Jim Casy is now saying that the best part of the world is within ourselves, rather, other people, yet still inside us as a whole. He says that people are the most important of relationships; this philosophy is almost of humanism but with less concern for love of thy neighbor. As such a promoter of his own words, Jim Casy can fairly be compared to Jesus Christ, a man, as I am sure everyone knows, was said to be a healer and a provider for thoousands because of his apparent connection with the Christian God. In the beginning of The Grapes of Wrath, Jim Casy is an ex-preacher who is unsure of how he could promote himself and use his talents for speaking and healing, spiritually, that is, in ways other than congregational leadership. By the end of the novel, Jim Casy is able to round up his abilities and use them to help organize the migrant workers. In fact, Jim Casy dedicates himself so fully to this idea of helping other people with his skills that he gives his own life for it. Casy, by teaching his work, transforms Tom Joad into a selfless man of the people, a real good guy. Tom went from practically hating his life to living for his life in a way that cannot and most likely will not be repeated by any characters of future books in my reading all just because of this one man's words.

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