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  1. #1
    enger is offline Newbie
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    Default a Burning Busher

    Hello, teachers and other members!

    Could anyone help me understand the phrase:

    "Reverend Jim Casy was a Burning Busher" (from "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck)

    Does it mean there was a religious sect called "The Burning Bush" and Casy was a member of the sect?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by enger View Post
    Hello, teachers and other members!

    Could anyone help me understand the phrase:

    "Reverend Jim Casy was a Burning Busher" (from "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck)

    Does it mean there was a religious sect called "The Burning Bush" and Casy was a member of the sect?

    Thanks in advance.
    I don't think so. I think it means that he was a fundamentalist Christian who believed strongly in a literal interpretation of the Old Testament.

  3. #3
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by enger View Post
    Hello, teachers and other members!

    Could anyone help me understand the phrase:

    "Reverend Jim Casy was a Burning Busher" (from "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck)

    Does it mean there was a religious sect called "The Burning Bush" and Casy was a member of the sect?

    Thanks in advance.
    To make sense of this sentence you have to know that, in the Christian Bible, Moses was said to have seen a burning bush, which was not consumed, on Mount Sinai. The implication is that Reverend Casey was a firm believer in the Bible

  4. #4
    enger is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    To make sense of this sentence you have to know that, in the Christian Bible, Moses was said to have seen a burning bush, which was not consumed, on Mount Sinai. The implication is that Reverend Casey was a firm believer in the Bible
    Thank you for the detailed explanation. Yes, I know this Bible story. I even hazarded a guess about what Casy could mean. When Casy was a preacher, God was saying from him (from his mouth) to his listeners as He, God, was saying from the Burning Bush to Moses. So "being a Burning Bush" was metaphorically Casy's occupation. This could account for the word formation, because the suffux -er can form nouns with the meaning: a person engaged in a profession, occupation etc. Is this a possible interpretation?

  5. #5
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by enger View Post
    Thank you for the detailed explanation. Yes, I know this Bible story. I even hazarded a guess about what Casy could mean. When Casy was a preacher, God was saying from him (from his mouth) to his listeners as He, God, was saying from the Burning Bush to Moses. So "being a Burning Bush" was metaphorically Casy's occupation. This could account for the word formation, because the suffux -er can form nouns with the meaning: a person engaged in a profession, occupation etc. Is this a possible interpretation?
    I think that is pretty close. I would say that "Burning Busher" refers to his approach to his profession as a preacher. Not all preachers are fundamentalists.

  6. #6
    enger is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I would say that "Burning Busher" refers to his approach to his profession as a preacher. Not all preachers are fundamentalists.
    Thanks for your answer. In fact, I asked my question because I had doubts while reading "The Grapes of Wrath". I'm reading both the original book and its Russian translation.
    Original: "Reverend Jim Casy was a Burning Busher".
    Translation: "Его преподобие Джим Кэйси. Из секты "Неопалимая купина".
    Now I see that this translation isn't correct. The reverse translation into English is: "Reverend Jim Casy. From the sect "The Burning Bush".

  7. #7
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a Burning Busher

    Quote Originally Posted by enger View Post
    Thanks for your answer. In fact, I asked my question because I had doubts while reading "The Grapes of Wrath". I'm reading both the original book and its Russian translation.
    Original: "Reverend Jim Casy was a Burning Busher".
    Translation: "Его преподобие Джим Кэйси. Из секты "Неопалимая купина".
    Now I see that this translation isn't correct. The reverse translation into English is: "Reverend Jim Casy. From the sect "The Burning Bush".
    "The Grapes of Wrath" is a difficult novel for someone to understand if they have little experience with the culture described by and the language used by the author. It's fascinating to see how cultures, language and even religions change when people are separated from the major part of their culture. The mainstream churches had little presence on the frontier and the people began to form new churches with varying religious ideas. Many understood the Bible in a very literal way. Reverend Casy is very much a part of this tradition. Even today there are sects who believe that a show of faith is to handle venomous snakes during their meetings.

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