Tractors represented an advancement of farming technology in the 1930s. At this time they were becoming much easier to purchase and allowed for quicker, more efficient work to be done. In The Grapes of Wrath, the tractors represent evil things, pushing hardworking farmers off the land they had cultivated for generations.
"And when a horse stops work and goes into the barn there is a life and vitality left, there is breathing and a warmth, and the feet shift on the straw, and the jaws champ on the hay, and the ears and the eyes are alive. There is a warmth left in the barn, and the heat and smell of life. But when the motor of a tractor stops, it is as dead as the ore it came from." Tractors also represented the more powerful men in The Grapes of Wrath, who were pushing the poorer families off their land. Horses represented an older way of doing things, and represent the working man on the farm, who couldn't afford advanced technologies such as the tractor.
Many homes were left abandon in the countryside during the Great Depression. Families were forced off their farms due to the Dust Bowl and deflated crop prices. In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joads, their neighbors, and most other families leaving Oklahoma are examples of this mass exodus.
"The doors of the empty houses swung open, and drifted back and forth in the wind. Bands of little boys came out from the towns to break the windows and to pick over the debris, looking for treasures." Often times families would leave their homes very quickly, leaving behind things that could be sca
As people were forced out of their homes, the land around them was turned into farmland. The homes would often be destroyed, and anything that was left would become homes to stray cats and