Study Guide

Gospel of John Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

The Grapes of Wrath
It's no coincidence that Jim Casy shares the same initials as Jesus. This former preacher turns himself in to save another man and is later killed while advocating for worker's rights.

Billy Budd
Billy = Jesus, Claggert = Judas, and Vere = Pilate in this Melville tale. Case closed.

The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago suffers at sea just like our friend Jesus does on the cross.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Tom, an elderly slave, turns to his Christian faith to see him through the hardships of life on the plantation. He dies forgiving his murderers, and inspires others to become Christian as well. Sounds pretty Christ-like to us.

A Tale of Two Cities
Before he goes to his death, Sydney Carton quotes John 11:25-26 to show that he's cool with dying in the place of someone else.

Lord of the Flies
When Simon tries to tell the truth about the island to the other boys, he's mistaken for "the beast" and killed. If only he'd held onto the conch.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Aslan sacrifices himself in order to save the life of a traitor and comes back in glory, proving once and for all that lions make the best Jesuses.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Spoiler alert! Harry dies and rises again, but not before taking a quick trip to King's Cross. He could probably walk on water, too, if only he could find the right spell.

Pop Culture References

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Mr. Carpenter comes to earth to give the world an important message about peace, hope, and love. Later, he gets shot, but, being a Christ-like guy that he is, comes right back.

The Matrix
Neo is "the one" who will save humanity. We wonder if Jesus could dodge bullets in slow motion, too.

Doctor Who
The Doctor never has to worry about dying while trying to save the universe because he can simply regenerate and come back to life in a new form. He's done it eleven times so far. Even Jesus doesn't have that kind of track record.

Donnie Darko
Through the course of the film, Donnie slowly realizes he must choose to die in order to save the people he loves. But the creepy guy in the bunny suit is way scarier than the religious authorities.

Cool Hand Luke
Luke is a convict who inspires other sinners. He's shot while trying to escape from prison. We bet Jesus could eat 50 eggs on a bet, too.

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