He wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it.
He had many questions going into his journey, the main one being "What are Americans like today".
In this section, Steinbeck makes quite a few references to the changes in the culture of America in this segment.
The first change that he makes apparent early on in this section is the waitress in the restaurant of an auto court located outside of Bangor.
In the first chapter of Part Two, Steinbeck begins his trip, traveling by ferry (boat) from Long Island to Connecticut.
Whilst on a ferry, Steinbeck cautiously watches a group of submarines surface, and discusses the new atomic submarines with a sailor as they approach the Naval Submarine Base New London where many of the new nuclear submarines are stationed.
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This introduces a theme that hangs over this chapter as Steinbeck notes that the "submarines are armed with mass murder, our silly, only way of deterring mass murder" (21).
He talks to a sailor stationed on a sub who enjoys being on them because they offer all kinds of – future” (22).