I read this story in high school, and I'd like to figure out the title. The basic plot is a man who gets assigned to cotton production. Nobody knows anything about the job, except that nobody assigned there is ever heard from again. On his way, a small group of people who are also assigned there meet him, and plan to escape. They seem to be in a completely industrialized society, possibly underground. They finally escape to the surface, in a field filled with beautiful flowers. They pick as many flowers as they can, laughing and enjoying themselves, then go to sleep. While they sleep, the truth is revealed to the reader - the flowers were actually cotton. They never escaped at all, the whole thing was an elaborate cover to get the new recruits into their position, ensuring optimal output of cotton while they believe they're actually free. Does this ring a bell to anyone?
Edit: I should add I was a senior, and this was back in 2000-2001. So, this definitely wasn't recent.