GOW Essay Topic 1

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Jim Casy’s Views on Religion, Discrimination, and War
By: Jessica Murphy
The character that seems to be the most conflicted about his beliefs is Reverend Jim Casy. Even though he is very open with Tom in chapter four about his beliefs, he seems to still carry feelings of guilt about his past. He is also held down by his old habits. For instance, when we are first introduced to Casy, he is singing “Jesus is my savior now” (Steinbeck 19), even though he later goes on to imply that he no longer believes in God. Casy explains his new outlook on religion to Tom when they come upon each other for the first time in the novel. The reverend states that “Maybe it’s all men and women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Spirit” (Steinbeck 24). We as readers don’t really have to read between the lines to know what Casy believes. He questions God by asking, (referring to the Holy Spirit) “Why do we got to hang it all on God or Jesus?” (Steinbeck 24). He begins to think of Jesus as just stories. It is because of this that we can infer that he no longer believes in God, and that people are all that is good and bad in the world. I feel that Casy would be very anti-discrimination. He has an immense love for all people, and as discussed in the last paragraph, believes that all people are part of one spirit. If everybody is part of one spirit, I would assume that means that we are all equal. He discusses his love for the human race by saying, “It’s love. I love people so much I’m fit to bust, sometimes.” (Steinbeck 23). He doesn’t specify that he only loves a certain social class or color, he just says people, meaning as a whole. I believe that, since he feels such a deep love for others, he couldn’t bear to see any of them dehumanized because of appearance. Lastly, we have to infer about Casy’s view on war. In The Grapes of Wrath, there