Intercalary Chapter 12
Get your kicks, on Route 66
“66 is the path of people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there.” (Steinbeck 118)
Steinbeck discusses that peopled fled from foreclosure and tractors plowing over their homes on route 66.
“Listen to the motor. Listen to the wheels. Listen with your ears and with your hands on the steering wheel; listen with the palm of your hand on the gear-shift lever; listen with your feet on the flood boards.” (Steinbeck 119)
In the desperate times of The Great Depression people were willing to work for less and pay more for equipment to make it across the desert on route 66. “We got to get a tire, but, Jesus, they want a lot for a ol’ tire. They look a fella over. They know he got to go on. They know he can’t wait. And the price goes up.” (Steinbeck 120)
“Two hundred and fifty thousand people over the road. Fifty thousand old cars-wounded, steaming. Wrecks along the road, abandoned. Well, what happened to them? What happened to the folks in that car? Did they walk? Where are they? Where does the courage come from? Where does the terrible faith come from?” (Steinbeck 122)