Chapter 9: Deep Roots in One Place

“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?”

With these comments, I realized how heart breaking it could have been to be uprooted from the only life the “tenant men” had ever known.

It seems that the connections to everything they had known had being shattered and taken from them. They leave behind more than just a farm and souvenirs, they leave the only identity they ever had, in the only place they had ever known.

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Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 4:27 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. What critical readers should know about Steinbeck that is rarely revealed is that he was a racist who had no objection to brown skinned people working like slaves in the fields, no objection to that kind of exploitation, as he himself shows in an earlier book. Moreover, the fellow Steinbeck dedicated the book to, was a close friend who ran the state sponsored camps. The state camps were indeed physically a step up from the growers camps, or the Hoovervilles people set up on their own, but the real purpose of the state camps was to keep out communist and anarchist organizers—the people who propelled the real changes in the fields. Until this reading leads to a discussion of capitalism and imperialism, it is just entertainment, a sparkler for spectators, not what most people think it could be. Steinbeck, taken uncritically, is a very dead end.


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