Farm Machines

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"As farmers were forced more and more to mistreat their holdings, they degraded it further to sexual plaything and chattel. This ideological evolution progressed naturally from the dominant myths.9 As industrialism began to dominate the West, the accompanying mindset fit a unique niche in the American dream of rugged individualism and merit-based achievement."
-Turning wine into waterWater as privileged signifier in The Grapes of Wrath. David Cassut

Out of the entire essay this quote really stood out to me the most.  Not because of the sexual playthings, but because it is, to be honest, one of the only sections of the essay that I understood.  I recall talking about this in class and thinking that everyone was crazy to think that a farm machine could be considered sexual.  But as I reread the whole section of the book and this part of the essay, it was made more clear to me that the parts were sexual in nature.  Crazy?  Maybe a little.  

The tractors came, and as stated in chapter 5 on page 33, "One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families.  Py him a wage and take all the crop." This is how industrialism started to rear its ugly head, forcing families to lose their money, their homes, and eventually almost everything.  

The mindset the article talks about is that is industrialism, I believe.  Everyone at first was so reluctant to replace people with machines but in the end that is exactly what happened and people were not so happy with it.  However, everyone had to come to accept it and realize that machines were now a scary reality.  


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May 2009

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