Extensions of a Monster

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In chapter 5, Steinbeck so delicately explains, "The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and moth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat."

The driver of the huge tractor felt no connection with his work. He did not feel the satisfaction of watching his crops grow and enjoy the fruits of his hard labor. The driver is explained as just an extension of the machine he is driving, and the tractor is just an extension of the larger monster, the banks and corporations. There is an utter coldness, a total lack of emotions, present in this chapter. The chapter is almost too cold to feel sadness or loneliness.

A local man asks, "Well, what are you doing this kind of work for- against your own people?"

"Three dollars a day," the driver replies.

In a way, the driver is in fact another extension of the greater monster. The driver may actually be worse than the banks as he has personal ties to the lives he is destroying. People as a whole sometimes do not care about what happens to others, as long as they are safe and secure. The driver will more than likely continue putting his growing behind in that seat, plowing the fields in his huge tractor until he grows to old. At the same time, the men he grew up with will likely starve.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/02/steinbeck_the_grapes_of_wrath/

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