Due to the legacy and influence of John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath has become an inspiration for various artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine. While Springsteen produced the song, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” in 1995, the Rage Against the Machine covered it in 1998. Both covers of the song emotionally snatched the hearts of listeners and provided a message for the impoverished and working class. Also, both artists performed varying styles of music to express their feelings of “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Hence, both artists sought to spread their passion and influence to their audiences.
Bruce Springsteen, a world acclaimed musician, began with humble beginnings in Freehold, New Jersey. Springsteen’s experience growing up with poverty, financial troubles and an unsteady relationship with his father molded the development for his music. With his albums: Born in the USA and Nebraska, Springsteen’s fame skyrocketed but soon declined due to his nullification with E Street Band. After his struggles in the 1990s, Springsteen succeeded with the title song, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” which touched the hearts of the working class. Inspired from “The Ballad of Tom Joad” by Woody Guthrie and The Grapes of Wrath, Springsteen connects his piece with social activism and gave a voice to the neglected, the impoverished, and the destitute. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” advocates for the people in need, such as the Joad family, to preserve and be resilient to struggles and hardships. For instance, whenever the song states that “Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free/Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me”, it demonstrates how people need to have faith and fight against opposition by uniting together as a whole. Similar to transcendentalism, mankind is one large soul that strives to restore hope while fighting for social justice. As history often repeats itself, Springsteen’s song provides optimism and a warning for the people in the future to survive as a powerful...
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