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The houses were left vacant. Only the tractor sheds of gleaming iron and silver were alive. Yet when the tractors are at rest the life goes out of them. The work is easy and efficient, so easy that the wonder goes out of the work and so efficient that the wonder goes out of the land and the working of it. In the tractor man there grows the contempt that comes to a stranger who has little understanding and no relation to the land. The abandoned houses slowly fall apart. Steinbeck also continues to remind the reader that the tractors are inhuman. He creates a mock metaphor in which the tractors go home at the end of the day' and go to sleep' to demonstrate how far that experience is from an actual human one. Steinbeck even explicitly states how "dead" the tractors are, comparing one to a corpse.