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Character Analysis: The Grapes of Wrath #1 Jim Casy

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In the infamous novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Jim Casey portrays a strong, helping, and knowledgeable character who is admired by many. Jim Casey is introduced as he meets with the main character, Tom Joad. They meet as JIm Casey introduces himself and says that he no longer knows what is calling is, as he says he has given up preaching. Jim Casey then recalls that he is the one who baptized Tom Joady when he was a child, but Tom said he was not aware of that because he had not been paying attention. Both continue to let each other know more about one another, but Tom Joad was on his way home, so instead of leaving Jim Casey asks him if he can tag along, in which Tom Joad gladly agreed, and continued their journey home to Joad Farm. Jim Casey continues the rest of his life with Tom Joad and his family as they make their way to California after farmers have been kicked out from their land. JIm Casey makes it his case to find out why this is happening to innocent people who are just of low income and why they are being treated differently from those of higher classes and wealth.

Jim Casey represents a strong character. He is brave enough to stand up for social justice even if it means being arrested or even killed by the police. Through the novel, this bravery is shown. As a man questions an officer about the treatment workers have been receiving, him asking this angers the policeman in which the police man proceeds to strike at him. Jim Casey sees this as rises to help the man being beaten, him striking at an officer earns him an arrest in which he later is bailed, but this shows that Jim Casey has no fear in doing something if it is for the right thing. Later in the novel, Jim Casey is seen once again standing up for workers rights and trying to get others to create a union to achieve better treatment within their facilities and workplaces, another officer, yet again sees him doing this, and those who do resist are usually blacklisted. Jim Casey did not care about the consequences, only that the weak had someone to stand up for them and he was that. He took his own life just to prove a point, to seek better work environments and wage for the hard work farmers have to do. Jim Casey sees the inequality and injustice and does whatever it takes to seek his goal in changes how they are treated.

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Not only is Jim Casey strong but he knowledgeable in what he does. He has heard stories of how farmers earned just treatment just by uniting together and he aims to do this with the people he is surrounded by. He takes what he knows and he uses it to his advantage. Jim Casey educates people on why they should not settle for less and why they should fight for more than what they are being given. Though during this fight for equality, he does die, he has influenced his friends and family and which is why Tom Joad sees what is occurring also and finishes what Jim Casey has started. His death was a spark of realization for Tom Joad, seeing that people of lower class receive brutal treatment and that is why he continues the fight for his friend and for other farm workers. Jim Casey takes what he learns and educates the people around him which is why he had such a big influence on other people.

Jim Casey is a character who loses who they thought they were to be and comes to a rough patch in discovering who they are as a person and what they were meant to do with this world. JIm Casey may have lost his faith in preaching but he found something else he put his faith in and was passionate about. Social justice and fighting for equality was Jim Casey’s new found preaching and that was his calling that he had found.

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