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The landowners' attitudes are based on greed. With the coming of the rains comes the end of the harvest season. The migrant workers face starvation, yet cannot receive any government relief. For Steinbeck, the treatment of these workers is not merely inhumane; such treatment is below even the treatment of livestock. Steinbeck's narrative makes the point that no farm owner would leave his horse to starve when it was not used. However, the farm owners are allowing starvation to afflict the migrant labor force.