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By Ang Li November 9 English Per 8 Commentary on The Grapes of Wrath This scene occurs in the early parts of The Grapes of Wrath after Tom along with Casy decides to return home and before he realizes his family has abandoned their farm In this brief intercalary chapter a tractor driver arrives with orders from the East to drive the tenant farmers out of their homes because the bank was not making enough profits from these collective farms In these three passages Steinbeck illustrates the unpleasant products of technology He explains that technology spawns machines such as tractors which cause people to lose their affection for the land This belief is manifested in his bleak imagery his diction and in his parallelism Steinbecks use of bleak and unpleasant imagery throughout these passages supports his belief that technology causes people to lose their love for the land For example he says If the young thrusting plant withered in a drought or drowned in a flood of rain it was no more to the driver than to the tractor 46 This illustrates how technology can cause an individual such as the tractor driver to become completely indifferent to the plight of his land and crops He loses his affection and compassion for the plant and becomes careless much like the very tractor that he operates Steinbeck writes Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks cutting the earth with blades- not plowing but surgery pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left slicing blades shining polished by the cutting earth orgasms set by gears raping methodically raping without passion 46 This vivid yet unspeakable imagery shows how technology harvests the earth Steinbecks use of diction further proves his belief that technology causes people to lose their love for the land For example he uses words such as insect and monster to portray
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