The Grapes of Wrath Jim Casy Quotes

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

In ''The Grapes of Wrath,'' the character named Jim has one of the most interesting backstories as well as some important ideas about what the future should hold. In this lesson, we will take a look at just what Jim Casy thinks by examining his quotes.

Jim Casy

In The Grapes of Wrath, the character named Jim Casy is an ex-preacher who travels with the Joad family. He is an interesting character partly because of his decision to stop being a preacher but also because of his insightful and philosophical quotes throughout the book.

No More Preaching

When we first meet Jim Casy, he is up front and honest about the fact that he is no longer a preacher. When Tom Joad sees him and says ''You're the preacher,'' Casy is quick to correct and says that he is ''Jus Jim Casy now. Ain't got the call no more. Got a lot of sinful idears--but they seem kinda sensible.'' In other words, he is just a regular guy now. His mind is full of things that many would say are sinful, but these ideas seem sensible to him.

He then explains that if he is about to eat with a group of people, he will say grace, but admits that ''my heart ain't in it.'' and that he only does it because people expect him to. These quotes show that even though Casy does not feel like a religious man and no longer feels like he should pray over meals, he still does it because people want him to.

Casy's Feminist Side

When the Joad family gets ready to leave for California, they invite Casy along as well. He accepts the offer and helps the family get ready for the trip. When Ma Joad is preparing the pig meat, Casy offers to help, but Ma Joad says that it is women's work. Casy replies ''It's all work'' and then explains ''They's too much of it to split it up to men's or women's work. You got stuff to do. Leave me salt the meat.'' Casy disregards social norms and expectations by offering to help with ''women's work.'' While it could be a political statement from Casy about gender norms, it is most likely that he believes exactly what he said; there is too much work for people to worry about what work women should do and what work men should do. He just wants to help.

What He Wants to Hear

Casy provides even more detail about his decision when the Joad family pressures him and pries into whether or not he will baptize people anymore. Casy explains that he is not going to baptize people. He wants to work in the fields and ''try to learn.'' He is going to listen to people talk and sing. He even wants to hear ''husban' an' wife a-poundin' the mattress in the night.'' He promises that he will be ''open an' honest'' with anyone that will have him. He admits that he is ''Gonna cuss an' swear an' hear the poetry of folks talkin'. All that's holy, all that's what I didn't understan'. All them things is the good things.'' In other words, Casy wants to be connected to the things that people love on the earth. He is interested in pleasures of the flesh and believes that there is goodness in the things that he once viewed as a sin.

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