What are machines according to him?what are people?what is a "machine man"? Why is he contemptuous of the land and of himself"?
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The mechanized tools of corporate agribusiness are juxtaposed with the simple more organic life of the sharecroppers. With the coming of the big "cats" people are displaced. Machines impersonalize the land and estrange it from the people. The connection between man and land is broken. I don't see Steinbeck as contemptuous of the land and of himself.