During The Great Depression many families could not afford to pay for their houses and farms, so the banks foreclosed. "Pa borrowed money from the bank, and now the bank wants the land. The land company company-that's the bank when it has land-wants tractors, not families on the land." (Steinbeck 151)
Intercalary Chapter 14
When farmers could no longer afford their farms, tractors would come in and plow over several small farms to make one very large one. "Is a tractor bad? Is the power that turns the long furrows wrong? If this tractor were ours it would be good-not mine, but ours." (Steinbeck 151)
Steinbeck discusses two families driven from their homes and camping along the side of a road. He poses the idea that if the two families shared what they had they could turn nothing into something.
Even when hard times come, people had to keep pushing forward and working for a better tomorrow. "Fear the time when the bombs stop fallen while the bombers live-for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died." (Steinbeck 151)
Strikes were an important part of the great depression. They were a way for workers to insist on living wages. They were necessary, but also hard to maintain during the depression because for every worker who wasn't willing to work for low wages, there were ten who were. Everyone was just trying to make anything. Even if it wasn't enough. "And fear the the time when the strikes top while the great owners live-for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken." (Steinbeck