Chapter 11 Notes from Grapes of Wrath

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Grapes of Wrath Chapter 11

The houses are left vacant, and the land seems more vacant because all life is gone. The tractors and tractor sheds are active and lit day and night but they are not alive.

The tractor drivers go home and do not need to return for weeks because the tractors are dead. Working the land is easy in this way. "So easy, that the wonder goes out of the work, so efficient that the wonder goes out of the land and the working of it, and with the wonder the deep understanding and the relation." Chapter 11, pg. 147 The tractor driver has contempt for the land because he does not understand it. The land is more than it's chemistry, just as a man is more than his parts. "That man who is more than his elements knows the land that is more than its analysis. But the machine man, driving the dead tractor on land he does not know and love, understands only chemistry." Chapter 11, pg. 148

Bands of children forage for treasure on the abandoned land. The houses are now inhabited by mice, cats, bats, owls, and weasels. "The houses were vacant, and a vacant house falls quickly apart." Chapter 11, pg. 149 Weeds grow through the floorboards and the wind begins to tear the shingles off one by one.

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