Monday, October 15, 2012

Exploration 7: Migrant Workers

U.S. Marshal deputies escort several suspected illegal immigrants 
to an overnight holding facility.

            While reading The Grapes of Wrath it’s hard not to see the similarities between how migrant workers were treated in the past and how they are treated today. Today there is a lot of issues concerning illegal immigrants, specifically from Mexico, migrating north in search of work.  Now in the book the migrants are treated horribly. The locals consider these folk less than human, more like how one would regard an animal. The locals would call the migrants foreigners and even developed their own slurs specifically for the migrants like Okies, for example.
            Now in today’s world it is very similar. Men and women from Mexico will illegally cross the border to look for work, not unlike how Tom crossed the state border illegally and violated his parole. Parts of our society share the same view of these folks and the locals did in The Grapes of Wrath. There are many slurs directed towards these people as well as many harmful stereotypes. Both, the migrant workers from The Grapes of Wrath and illegal immigrants from our time, took ridiculously low wages just to feed their family. Then from that spawns the local’s fear, they are afraid they may lose their jobs to someone who will take less pay.
            I personally don’t think a man, in good conscience, should hate a man he knows nothing about. That’s why they demonize the migrant workers. The stories the Locals tell become truths for them. It’s easier to demonize the people and act cruel and uncaring towards them than actually see them as normal people.  The locals don’t feel selfish or cruel when they think they are holding off a horde of savages. I feel this fits perfectly with both cases.


  1. I can see where you are coming from on this topic but there are quite a few differences between the migrants in the book and the ones today. Of those people in the Joad family only Tom is crossing the state line illegally. Today anyone who does not follow the immigration procedure are considered illegal and are attached to dehumanizing thoughts. I agree that regardless it is not right to judge and make stereotypes for these people. I just think there are quite a few differences.

  2. Very valid points from beginning to end. I like the detail you go into and what arguments you make.


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