Farmers Go Toot

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Ultimately, the majority of farmers were not able to keep up like this much longer and were forced to give up on their farms and flee westward, which promised all they had been desperately longing for. In the address “Fireside Chat #8,” President Roosevelt spoke about the living conditions in the south. As evidence, he said, “I shall never forget the fields of wheat so blasted by heat that they cannot be harvested. I shall never forget field after field of corn stunted, earless and stripped of leaves, for what the sun left the grasshoppers took. I saw brown pastures which would not keep a cow on fifty acres” (Source B). Since the image was so ingrained into President Roosevelt’s memory vividly, this showed how extreme the situation was to point to where it was easily remembered as shockingly tragic. Crops, livestock, and other viable resources were more or less damaged and wiped out. Years passed with the lack of fruitful production. Farmers struggled against bankruptcy on a daily basis and woke every day wishing for the day to be the last of Dust Bowl.

Because of the constant struggle, farmers started search for another way out of the problem. In the novel The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck, the growing desperation of farmers were described. For example, they were “Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land” (Source L). The way the farmers were described as like ants was an accurate representation of the Dust Bowl refugees. Farmers had lost nearly everything due to deserted lands and raging dust storms. Once in a desperate state, they resorted to entirely rummaging around for land. As they scuttled to one place and another, they seeked for any labor, whether it was picking, pushing, cutting, or whatever, anything just for basic needs to survive. At last, many farmers came across advertisements that tempted them escape the disaster they were trapped in. In the document “The Migrant Experience” by Robin A. Fanslow, it described advertisements of the west.

For instance, “Popular songs and stories, circulating in oral tradition for decades, exaggerated these attributes, depicting California as a veritable promised land” (Source G). Farmers soon gave up lurking in destroyed lands and enduring the pain any longer. Advertisements like California’s often portrayed the perfect climate for farming and encouraged workers searching for a job. A visual illustration was painted into the weary farmers’ minds of this “ideal” land. These appealed especially to desperate farmers as the promises fulfilled all their needs they had been looking for this whole time. As it meant escaping the terrible Dust Bowl, many farmers took the offer. Eventually, hordes of farmers packed their belongings along with their families and journeyed towards the west to start a new life.

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Farmers Go Toot. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved April 18, 2024 , from

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