In Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, the handbills are essentially flyers that encouraged poor folks looking for a better quality of life to travel to California to pick produce. In the novel, the handbills are supposedly an extremely common manner of attracting workers, and many supposedly cause too many workers to travel to California, allowing for growers to pay insultingly meager wagers for the picking labor. The handbills signify the false promises and hopes of California, as people traveled there with a more utopian image in their heads but were met with scarcity and adversity. The handbills were just another means of exploiting the dreams of poor folks in search of better lives. As already noted, there is controversy as to the actual historical existence of these handbills. However, the general concept of worker exploitation and false promises certainly remains true.