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The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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Does Steinbeck prefer tractors or horses? Explain his reasons. paragraph one

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Steinbeck was not a hater of progress, as many people have erroneously tagged him. However, in the case of the Dust Bowl, it is definitely machinery that is gutting the land. Consider in particular Chapter 5. Steinbeck describes the tractors as the "rapists" of the land. Hardly a more violent image could be conjured:

Behind the harrows, the long seeders --twelver curved iron penes erected in the foundry, raping methodically, raping without passion...The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died...

Horses, on the other hand, can only be worked so hard. Being living creatures, they cannot go without rest, food, or other corporeal needs. A man could love his horse, know its moods, feel its state of being. A tractor has none of these needs. It is cold steel, without warm blood, without a beating heart.

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