The Importance Of Music In The Grapes Of Wrath

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Music often plays a very important role in one 's life. Music during the Great Depression era was very important to people. John Steinbeck shows the importance of music during the Great Depression era in his novel The Grapes of Wrath. The novel presents a clear historical connection to music during the depression era. Music was important for entertainment, enlightenment, and social criticism.
First, music was heavily used for entertainment. Television was just recently created. That being said, it was not popular like it is today. Music on the radio was everything in the 1930s. The book Music of the Great Depression explains how popular radio became. “Amid continuing economic woes, the ubiquitous receiver established itself as a household
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A lot was happening that people needed to vent about. Music seemed to be a harmless way to do so. The Library of Congress states, “During the Great Depression songs provided a way for people to complain of lost jobs and impoverished circumstances” (Songs). The Grapes of Wrath contains music seen as social criticism. Tom irritably speaks with a man at a gas station. Their conversation involves the frustration of people having to pack up and leave. “You ain’t askin’ nothin’; you’re jus’ singin’ a kinda song. ‘What we comin to?’” (Steinbeck 174). This song represents how The Great Depression was changing people’s lives in ways they did not agree with. The man at the gas station does not agree with what their lives have come to. Also, music is used as social criticism at the Weedpatch Government camp. Mrs. Sandy, who is very religious, approaches Rose of Sharon and tells her music is sinful. “Ever’ Sat’dy night when that there strang ban’ starts up an’ should be a-playin’ hymnody, they’re a-reelin’ -yes, sir, a-reelin’” (Steinbeck 422). Through this, Steinbeck shows how rapidly music was changing. Steinbeck also shows how music went against the religious beliefs of the

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