Critics have interpreted the love described in these lines not as the love between people, but the love that god has for man and humanity in general. The saintly appearance of the woman is also an allusion to the bible.
Pa Joad is a symbol of the common man who is struggling in a world dominated by sin. The famine and all its terrible consequences are used by the author to suggest the devastating consequences that sin can gave upon the human soul. The salvation is to be found in Jesus Christ who stands as a symbol of a set of values such as love and the sacrifice of the self. Accepting Jesus and these new values will remove sin from ones life.
The relationship that is established between the Joad family and Casy can be considered similar to the one which is created between Jesus and man. On the one hand God gives, on the other hand man must be able o open his heart and receive. Only by receiving will they be able to fully understand the message of love and save themselves.
All in all it can be stated that Steinbeck uses a multitude of parallelisms to the old and the new testament in order to complete his message.
His purpose is not only to give a moving description of a very difficult and important moment in history, but also to make a point about social and spiritual values
. We can interpret the great depression as a biblical flood sent to wash away all the sins of the humanity. In doing that it punishes humanity for its sins, but it also provides it with the possibility of a new beginning, that is, of salvation. Through his book Steinbeck suggests that only love and spiritual openness can save the human soul and give man the chance to be happy.
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Biblical allusions and imagery in Steinbecks the grapes of wrath. Retrieved April 30, 2010 from http://www.azete.com/view/17194
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Coers, D.V., Ruffin, P.D., Demott, R.J., French, W.G. After grapes of wrath: essays on John Steinbeck. Ohio University Press. 1995
Davis, R.M. Twentieth century interpretations of the grapes of wrath. Prentice Hall. 1982
The grapes of wrath, literary analysis. Novel guide. Retrieved April 30, 2010 from http://www.novelguide.com/thegrapesofwrath/metaphoranalysis.html.