Overlapping Myths

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"The myth of the garden held that the land would yield bountiful harvests to any American willing to work it.  Rain would fall in direct proportion to the farmer's yield."

Cassuto, page 77

David Cassuto's article on the use of water within John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath also brings light to the myth of America's West...the land of opportunity and plenty (a promise land).  In the above quote, Cassuto's point about the myth of the garden and its plentiful supply of water goes hand in hand with the idea of America's opportunity.  Countless immigrants came to America with hopes of having the "rags to riches" sensation made popular by Horatio Alger. 

In much the same manner as the garden and its water, America and its West were not always as promising as advertised, but then again, is anything ever the same as it is advertised? The garden and the American West are one, in a certain way.  The garden is a land of fields where any man can find work and there is plenty to provide for a family.  Amerca's West is that garden to Steinbeck's characters.  The corrolation is direct: the American West was to be the place where all seeds of success would sprout with glee and prosperity.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/03/academic_article/

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