Grapes of Wrath Chapter 9
The tenant people sift through their belongings in preparation for moving. The men load up everything to sell because the past, which their things represent, has been destroyed for them. The women want to hold on to certain things because they still have sentimental value for them. The men bring everything they own in carts to sell, and are offered terrible prices, but sell anyway. The junk dealers are buying the bitterness of ruined lives. "You're not buying only junk, you're buying junked lives. And more - you'll see - you're buying bitterness. Buying a plow to plow your own children under, buying the arms and spirits that might have saved you." Chapter 9, pg. 110
The men walk home silently prophesying a future revenge. "...someday - the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it." Chapter 9, pg. 111 Then they load the few things they need into the truck. The women lament the things they have to leave, but the men are relentless. " How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it." Chapter 9, pg. 112 Anxious to leave, the tenants create a bonfire of the remaining things, and, after watching the fire die out, they drive away.