Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad relationship with Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

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In 1995, Bruce Springsteen produced an album titled “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Its title track brings out a lot of ideas from John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Migrant workers, as explained in chapter twenty three of The Grapes of Wrath, used music as a main source of entertainment. They would play the harmonica, the guitar, and the fiddle, while the other workers would dance and be jolly, despite how bad the work was that day. The instrumentals of the song are harmonica and acoustic guitar. This helps to bring out both the theme of the song and the ideas from the book. The seventh line of the song is “Families sleepin' in their cars in the southwest” (The Ghost of Tom Joad 1995). In the book, while…show more content…
It was the road to “paradise”. The thirteenth line hints at Tom Joad’s religious parallel. It says “He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag” (The Ghost of Tom Joad 1995). Tom Joad can be seen as a Moses-type leader. Where Moses was leading the Hebrew people to the Promised Land, Tom was leading the migrant workers to unionization and a better life. Both leaders rejected the warnings of those who had turned back once they had reached the destination. In Moses’ case, it was the Hebrew spies, while Tom was being advised by fellow Okies who could not find jobs. The next line reads, “Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag” (The Ghost of Tom Joad 1995). This line symbolizes the corruption of Jim Casy. Usually when you picture a preacher, smoking a cigarette is that last thing you would imagine him doing. Jim Casy was a preacher prior to the novel. Then he began to think for himself and committed sins. When he realized what he had done he quickly resigned his position. A few lines down the lyrics read, “Got a one-way ticket to the promised land” (The Ghost of Tom Joad 1995). The bankrupt sharecroppers saw California as “the promised land”. Most of them barely had enough money after selling all of their possessions to buy a car. The cars that they could afford weren’t even worth what they paid, and broke down many times before they reached California. By the time they finally reached California and realized that

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