Grant Wood’s 1930 painting of a pitchfork-wielding farm couple heralds our return to Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. How to interpret this portrait? How to interpret American Gothic, which to my mind means the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Through the lens ofThe Unsettling of America, an interpretation becomes clear; these farmers have disappeared, have sold their land to an agribusiness, and have longed ago moved to the city. If there is a land ethic in their faces, that has been replaced with specialists.
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