A large red drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.

– John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 6. Steinbeck’s description of sunset, on the surface, may seem to paint a picture of beauty and tranquillity. But the author deftly employs color imagery to tell us otherwise. The red sun that "drips" over the horizon does not appear friendly. References to blood and the "bloody rag" remind us that the homes of the Joads and other farmers have being torn from them. The darkness that creeps over the land foreshadows the hard road that lies ahead for these dispossessed.