As we continue to read these so-called "intercalary" chapters from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath every night, I thought I might open up some discussion on one of them. Certain passages from Chapter 7 displayed the negative side to the entire car salesmanship and drew my attention in particular. For example, on page 61, Steinbeck describes the salesmen as "neat, deadly, small intent eyes watching for weaknesses." Other examples appears on the following page, where the salesmen talk about more sales strategies, such as replacing new batteries with "dumb cells", making customers feel guilty about wasting time, and extra "carrying charges and insurance." I think there is a clear connection with these car salesmen and the new age. Willy on the tractor also reflects a rather profit-driven and impersonal attitude towards the traditional world. Aside from this relationship which most of us associate with the evils of capitalism and industrial America in the early 20th century, I believe there Steinbeck reveals something greater. Through his careful and vivid language, Steinbeck attacks the values of this modernizing America and the trends that accompany the process. He clearly portrays these salesmen as inconsiderate and manipulative, and I think this argument incorporates the greater entity of industrial change. Some other quotations display Steinbeck's discontent, such as where the salesman sarcastically asks, "Didn't nobody tell you this is the machine age? They don't use mules for nothing but glue no more" (64). The logic of this quotation may be a little exaggerated, but the tone is definite. Now I pose a question: do you think that Steinbeck truly is making a statement about the abusive, deceptive, predator-like nature of early 20th century America? At first, I thought this story contained no content "between the lines," but my perspective is slowly yet surely finding some greater truth behind this text.