• Two key characters we’ve met so far: Tom and Casy.
We’ll look at Tom more closely later.
• It should strike you that Casy’s initials are J.C.
• He is certainly a Christ-like figure in this book.
• It’s not just that he is a former preacher who “went
into the hills thinkin,” much as Jesus Christ went into
• Also consider:
– Casy rejects the notion of sin: “There ain’t no sin, and
there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”
– His new direction defines the religious impulse as human
love: “What’s this call, this sperit?...It’s love.”
– This direction also identifies the Holy Spirit as the human
spirit in all mankind: “Maybe all men got one big soul
ever’body’s a part of.”
• Casy joins the migration not to escape or preach but to learn
from the common human experience.
• What he ultimately learns is that man’s spiritual brotherhood
must express itself in social unity.
• It’s a moot point to argue whether the novel promotes
specific Christian values because that depends entirely on
your definition of what is essentially Christian.
• Suffice it to say that the novel fuels its social message with
religious fervor and sanction.
Literary element refresher
• Diction involves a writer’s selection of language.
Diction may be described as formal or informal, abstract or
concrete, figurative or literal.
• Dialect is variation of a given language spoken in a particular
place or by a particular group of people. A dialect is
distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
If we’re only talking about pronunciation, we usually use the
• Dialect is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but
a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social
• The story is rich in dialect: language is unique to its
region due to vocabulary, grammar, and
• Words and phrases from chapters 1-5 of Wrath:
• “drownded,” “idears,” “Sperit,” “figgered” “piana”
• “You give her a goin’-over”
• “Touched” (crazy)
The Turtle’s Exodus
• The indomitable life force that drives
the turtle, the toughness that allows
it to survive predators, the efficiency
of nature that uses the turtle to
unwittingly carry seeds and bury
them – all traits characteristic of the
• The Joads, too, will carry their house
(the truck) with them, survive natural
catastrophe, and see both kindness
• They, too, pick up life in one place
and carry it to another.
• Chapter 4: Tom picks up the turtle as
a present for his younger siblings,
talks about turtles with Casy, and
eventually releases it. The turtle
plods southwest – just as the Joads