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The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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In Chapter 8 of The Grapes of Wrath, what does Casy specifically say is holy?  

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"....There was the hills, an' there was me, an' we wasn't separate no more.  We was one thing.  An' that one thing was holy."

These words by Jim Casy echo those of Ralph Waldo Emerson who described man's unity with all things in the universe in the concept of the Oversoul.  Casy feels that man has existed in harmony with nature, a "holy" experience he has had when while staying in the woods.  And, Casy contends, when all men work in harmony with one another and with nature, that, too, is holy.  Only when men strike out on their own and act against one another and nature do things become unholy.

With initials that are the same as Jesus Christ, Jim Casy devotes his life to helping his fellow man, even to becoming the sacrificial victim.  Truly, his character is an Emersonian expression of a larger self and a voice for the ideals of the author, John Steinbeck.

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