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September 20 , 2018

The Octopus

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Overview

The Octopus depicts the conflict between wheat farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and the Pacific and Southwestern railroad (P&SW). The railroad attempts to take possession of the land the farmers have been improving for many years, forcing them to defend themselves. The wheat farmers are represented by Magnus Derrick, the reluctant leader of the ad hoc farmer's League designed to fight for retention of their land and low cost freight rates. S. Behrman serves as the local representative of P&SW.

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The Octopus

Based on an actual bloody dispute in 1880 between wheat farmers and the Southern Pacific Railroad, this shocking tale of greed, betrayal, and a lust for power is played out during the waning days of the western frontier. The Octopus vividly and relentlessly records social and economic problems of the late-19th century.




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