The Grapes of Wrath

Jim Casy Character Analysis

Jim Casy is an ex-preacher who knew the Joads as far back as Tom’s childhood. Casy has since given up his religion, because he is afflicted by guilt for having had relations with some of the young women in his congregations. Casy now places his faith in the remarkable power of a united human spirit. Throughout the book, Casy performs several acts of self-sacrifice for the common good: he saves Tom by taking the blame for a scuffle at a Hooverville, and later, he gives his life leading a strike so that peach-picking workers can earn higher wages.

Jim Casy Quotes in The Grapes of Wrath

The The Grapes of Wrath quotes below are all either spoken by Jim Casy or refer to Jim Casy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Grapes of Wrath published in 2002.
Chapter 4 Quotes

“I says, ‘Maybe it ain't a sin. Maybe it's just the way folks is. Maybe we been whippin’ the hell out of ourselves for nothin’.’…Before I knowed it, I was sayin’ out loud, ‘The hell with it! There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do. It’s all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.’”

Related Characters: Jim Casy (speaker)
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

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“maybe it's all men an’ all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit—the human sperit—the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’ Now I sat there thinkin’ it, an’ all of a suddent—I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”

Related Characters: Jim Casy (speaker)
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

“I ain’t sayin’ I’m like Jesus…But I got tired like Him, an’ I got mixed up like Him, an’ I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin’ stuff…Sometimes I’d pray like I always done. On’y I couldn’ figure what I was prayin’ to or for. 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.”

Related Characters: Jim Casy (speaker)
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 28 Quotes

“But now I been thinkin' what he said, an' I can remember—all of it. Says one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an' he foun' he didn' have no soul that was his'n. Says he foun' he jus' got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness ain't no good, 'cause his little piece of a soul wasn't no good 'less it was with the rest, an' was whole. Funny how I remember. Didn' think I was even listenin'. But I know now a fella ain't no good alone.”

Related Characters: Tom Joad (speaker), Jim Casy
Page Number: 418
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jim Casy Character Timeline in The Grapes of Wrath

The timeline below shows where the character Jim Casy appears in The Grapes of Wrath. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...a tree, singing a hymn. The man recognizes Tom, and gives his name as Jim Casy. Casy is a former preacher, and claims to remember baptizing Tom, back when Tom was... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Casy goes on to explain why he has given up being a preacher. He tells Tom... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Casy asks Tom about his father, Ol’ Tom Joad, and Tom confesses that he hasn’t heard... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...team of horses to drag another family’s abandoned house onto the land. As Tom and Casy crest the hill above the house, they see that it’s been deserted. (full context)
Chapter 6
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Tom and Casy observe that the Joad homestead was quickly and recently abandoned. One side of the house... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
An old neighbor, Muley Graves, is spotted as he walks through the cotton fields by Casy and Tom. They speak with him, and Muley talks at length about how he has... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...time in four years. Muley somewhat reluctantly agrees to share his food with Tom and Casy. Over dinner, Muley continues to reflect on his connection to the land, remembering the dust... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
...that he doesn’t understand how bad it is to be hunted and forces Tom and Casy to hide in the field with him. Once the police have left, Muley beds down... (full context)
Chapter 8
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Tom and Casy continue towards Uncle John’s house. Tom has been awoken early by Muley, who fearfully warns... (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
The Joad family and Casy sit down for breakfast, and Granma insists that Casy say grace. Casy is uncomfortable speaking... (full context)
Chapter 10
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Casy asks Tom, Ma, and Grampa Joad if he can come along to California with them.... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...for every movable thing in their house. The family holds a conference to decide whether Casy can come with them. Ma Joad overrules her husband’s uncertainty and plays a crucial role... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
The family prepares for the journey. Casy offers to help Ma Joad salt down the meat. She is surprised, since the task... (full context)
Chapter 13
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...him relax in their tent. Grampa’s condition worsens quickly, and he dies of a stroke. Casy, at Granma Joad’s behest, offers a Christian prayer for Grampa, and the Joads throw together... (full context)
Chapter 16
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Tom, Al, and Casy volunteer to stay with the car while the group continues on. Pa supports this plan,... (full context)
Chapter 18
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Ivy and Sairy Wilson cannot continue with the Joads. Sairy’s health is deteriorating. She asks Casy to pray for her before the family leaves and he does so silently, without invoking... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...reaches California. Ma Joad reveals that Granma’s been dead since before they passed the checkpoint. Casy admires and fears Ma’s willpower; she stayed on the truck all night with Granma’s corpse... (full context)
Chapter 20
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...Tom. The deputy tries to shoot Floyd, but hits a woman instead, crippling her hand. Casy then knocks the deputy unconscious. Casy urges Tom to run away, which Tom does. When... (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Seeing Casy give himself up to protect Tom causes Uncle John anguish, and John needs to get... (full context)
Chapter 26
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...learn more about the strike outside the compound. He comes across a tent, and finds Casy inside. Casy informs Tom that he’s become an advocate for the workers, and that the... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Men with flashlights approach Casy and Tom. One of them swings a pick handle at Casy, striking him in the... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...to the tent. The next morning, he explains to the entire family what happened with Casy. That day, the men go to work while Tom hides in the tent. When the... (full context)
Chapter 28
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...Tom reveals that in his time alone in the wilderness, he has been thinking about Casy and the preacher’s philosophy. Tom tells Ma that he feels a calling to unite his... (full context)