Grapes of Wrath Chapter 19
Greedy Americans took California from the Mexicans. They wanted the land more than Mexicans wanted anything. So, they squatted on it until they owned it, and they worked it until they were safe from want. Then they began to loose their desperate need, which engendered their love for the land. They became like shopkeepers, buying and selling crop profits. Good shopkeepers bought the farms of the bad shopkeepers. The big farmers imported slave-like workers from foreign countries. These farmers no longer worked on the farms; they paid people to manage them.
When the dispossessed came west from the southeastern states, they were hated because they were strong and poor. The landowners feared that they might revolt. The bankers hated them because they had no money. Homeless migrants drive into towns and were directed to Hoovervilles, shantytowns. They covet the uncultivated acres of land surrounding them, but, when they covertly attempt to create a garden, deputies chase them off the land. "The cop was right. A crop raised - why, that makes ownership. Land howed and carrots eaten - a man might fight for land he's taken food from." Chapter 19, pg. 302 The child of a squatter shoots a police man who gets in a fight with his father. The owners are scared, and the migrants discuss war. The Department of Health tries to disband the Hoovervilles. The owners ignore the historical facts: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away; when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need; and repression works only to strengthen the repressed. The owners continue to repress the migrants. And the migrants pray, but someday the praying will stop.