The Religious Touch in The Grapes of Wrath


  • Leyuan Ma The Experimental High School Attached to Bejing Normal University



John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Christianity, 20th Century literature, American literature.


John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is a great piece of storytelling showing readers a glimpse of the American past. And yet, as Steinbeck once wrote to his editors, the novel had at least five layers to it. On one level, The Grapes of Wrath belies Steinbeck’s moral outrage of the American political and economic system of that time. This paper does not comment on the linguistics or the normative value of the character and plot development, instead exclusively looking at the moral and religious references amidst the turbulent American social and political backdrop. We argue these portraits of morality inserted as scenes in the novel have its roots in various biblical references and Christian thought. In this article, we deconstruct the novel into various themes and scenes and examine these against the Christian Bible.

Author Biography

Leyuan Ma, The Experimental High School Attached to Bejing Normal University

Marilyn, aged 16, is a 11th grade female student in China. She is currently studying in The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University. Marilyn is active in taking various extracurricular activities. She is the leader of the American Style Mock Trial Group of her school, which won the fifth place in the national completion in China in December 2019. She is the deputy chief editor of the school journal, on which she published a number of articles.Marilyn has many hobbies. She plays the game of go (weiqi) very well. She is interested in paintings. Tennis is her favorite sport.She won the full scholarship in Grade 10.


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