When Myths go Awry.
"The Joads' saga offers a fictional version of the consequences of this myth of the garden and the accompanying myth of the American Frontier. Both were driven by a perceived superabundance of resources, a national fantasy that prodded the Joads towards Oklahoma and then later to California."
- "Turning Wine into Water..." by David Cassuto
I may have heard of this myths, and notice the implications of them throughout the work, but I was not really concious of them while reading. I did not realize that both the unwillingness to move from Oklahoma and the eagerness to get to California involved the belief of excess or "superabundance" as Cassuto says. Despite economic and ecological laws at work, there was a pervading belief that the land would continue to yield abundant crops despite the failure to rrotate crops, for example. The tenant families made the mistake of believing that as long as they were able to work there would be work to be done. Similarly, in California, the tenants suffered from an unshakable belief in the same kind of system. The tenants thought there woud be plenty of work for everybody, especially Pa who clung to the message of the orange handbill. Pa and the other tenants did not even consider the problems they may, and did encounter: too many workers, not enough work, minimal pay, no respect. It was no longer enough to believe that God or that technology would take care of things. The nation had to begin to accept that the myths were false, and take responsibility for what was done, and what needed to be done to "modernize the American dream", which was turning into a nightmare.