Taken at face value, John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, vividly depicts the hardships that the people of the 1930's were made to suffer. In the novel, these hardships are shown via the Joad family. However, when looking deeper into the many hidden allusions and parallels between the lines, the reader will find numerous references to the Bible and its stories.
Jim Casey, a former preacher is one such example of Steinbeck's Biblical references. Jim Casey, formerly being a man in the spiritual life, also shares his initials, "J" and "C" with Jesus Christ himself. Jim Casey can also be quoted in the book saying,.
" Muley is a lost soul. He wouldn't come along with us.".
Casey in this quote acts as Jesus Christ wondering why Muley, portrayed as one of His Apostles, won't come and follow him.
The character of Uncle John reminded me of a story of one of the saints, specifically Saint Nicholas. The story of Saint Nicholas tells us how he would go to all the homes of the poor and leave them food and clothing while they were asleep at night. When they would wake in the morning, they would find his gifts. Uncle John does much of the same thing. After his wife died, he wanted to be separated as much as he could from the public. He stopped going to church and went to town as seldom as possible. However, at nighttime when everyone was asleep he would go into people's houses and leave a small gift such as a pack of gum for every person in the family.
The night before leaving on the trek to California, the Joad family along with Jim Casey reminded me much of the Last Supper. Jim Casey, once again being portrayed as Jesus Christ, is asked to present the prayer before eating. Once he finishes the prayer they all sit down and have their "last supper" before they head off the next morning on the long journey to California.
Consequently, most of the characters in The Grapes of Wrath have names such as Noah, Tom and John.