The Grapes of Wrath
How we cite our quotes:
[the tractor driver:] "That's right," the tenant said. "But for your three dollars a day fifteen or twenty families can't eat at all. Nearly a hundred people have to go out and wander on the roads for your three dollars a day. Is that right?" (5.49)
If you were in the tractor driver's shoes, would you go to work for the landowners as he does, or would you unite with fellow farmers to try to fight the landowners? Has the tractor driver betrayed his community?
"Times are changed, don't you know? Thinking about stuff like that don't feed the kids. Get your three dollars a day, feed your kids. You got no call to worry about anybody's kids but your own. You get a reputation for talking like that, and you'll never get three dollars a day if you worry about anything but your three dollars a day." (5.53)
How exactly have times changed? The tractor driver indicates that "modern" America is one that favors the individual over the community.
[the tractor driver:] "I got orders wherever there's a family not moved out – if I have an accident – you know, get too close and cave the house in a little – well, I might get a couple of dollars. And my youngest kid never had no shoes yet." (5.57)
Not only is individualism and self-interest values by the landowners, but violence and maliciousness are as well.