The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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In The Grapes of Wrath, how does Tom Joad's philosophy change as he grows to see himself as Casy's spiritual heir?

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Tom Joad comes to see himself as a small part of a universal whole in The Grapes of Wrath. This philosophy, which Tom has absorbed primarily from Casy, brings him to view his own suffering as unimportant in light of the hardships of others.

Casy has been attempting to start a union because he sees that people will need to stand together against the farm association that keeps wages low. Tom also sees the homeless and starving migrant farmers turn against each other as competition for the few jobs increases. All along Casy has preached that humans have only "a little piece of a great big soul", and that “a little piece of a soul wasn't no good 'less it was with the rest, an' was whole.” After Tom’s younger sister accidentally reveals that he is hiding out after killing the man who killed Casy, Tom begins to think of attempting to organize against the big farming interests. He sees that things can change only if the people band together.

While Tom Joad’s ideas are only beginning to...

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