Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plum Plum Pickers passage explications

Please post your papers

in this comment stream if you are period 5.


Ricki L5 said...

In the short story Plum Plum Pickers by Raymond Barrio, Barrio suggests that humans must have honor and pride to persevere through life by using textual clues such as tone and choice of words in the beginning, characters in the story, and the changes they encounter. Barrio writes the story using powerful literary techniques to portray the theme of preserving human pride.

In the beginning paragraphs of the short story, the author uses tone and description of the character and setting to set up the main character as an animal; the complete opposite of what the theme of the story tells us. Several times in the first few paragraphs the author uses one word "sentences" to create a hectic scene. "There had to be a way out. Locked. There had to be respite. Animal." During the worker's break, the text seems to slow down, as if the reader is resting from the hectic text. "That short rest in the shade replenished some of his humor and resolve. He felt his spirit swell out again like a thirsty sponge in water. Then up again. Threes. The branches." Once the break was over, the text becomes hectic once again. The paragraphs are also intense as the author describes the protagonist, Manuel, going through his laborious prison as an animal would in a trap. Barrio uses words such as "animal pores" and "Beast" to describe Manuel. The author purposely sets Manuel up for this to have a greater impact towards the end of the story where the theme plays out.

Barrio also drops hints to the reader about the theme using the main protagonist Manuel Gutierrez and Roberto Morales. Their names are a connection to the main idea of the story. Manuel contains the word "Man" which is what Manuel transforms into rather than a laborious individual only comparable to an animal. In the name Roberto, the word "Rob" is contained. Roberto literally tries to rob the other men and Manuel of their earnings. Morales can also be read as "moral less", one without morals, in which Roberto is certainly an individual of this kind. Roberto is superior to Manuel and the other slaves, like a man among beasts, even though he is more vile than Manuel and the others.

When Manuel kicks over his bucket, the two men seem to lock in for confrontation. At this point, the author makes it seem like both men are animals staring each other down. "The two men, centered in a huge ring of red-ringed eyes, glared at each other. Reaching for each other's jugular. The other exhausted animals studied the tableau through wandering eyes." There is a transformation when Roberto backs down after the other men step up. The author then gives Manuel his moment of glory, and thus the main idea of the theme. "Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride." Manuel displays the man within when taking what is rightfully his.

In conclusion, Raymond Barrio uses symbols, setting, and other literary techniques to further support the main theme of Plum Plum Pickers. Through these techniques, the reader can fully understand the author's meaning and his purpose for writing the story.

Rodney B5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela S5 said...

Fighting for What is Right

A person’s daily routine can at times leave them feeling as if they are a machine or inhuman due to their occupation or lifestyle. In order to feel a sense of purpose in life one must break this cycle and do things which allow them to remember that they are human beings and deserve respect and happiness. In the short story, The Plum, Plum Pickers, the author, Raymond Barrio suggests that at times people feel as though they are inhuman, but must find purpose in their every day life, by standing up for what they believe in or what is rightfully theirs. These moments remind people what is important to them and help them find their purpose. Barrio suggests that his main character Manuel feels animal-like through his pacing, sentence structure and personification of words. Barrio also alludes to many biblical and religious events which suggest when Manuel feels inhuman and also reveal when he discovers happiness as a human being. Also, Barrio uses the meanings of the names of his characters to reveal certain aspects of their personalities.
The first paragraph begins with Manuel, the main character at work, where he picks apricots and prunes. Barrio writes, “No matter which way he turned, he was trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees, as though forever, neat rows of them, neatly planted, row after row, just like the blackest jails of hell”. This first sentence has a long structure with many commas which gives the feeling that Manuel is trapped in this never ending maze. Also, Barrio personifies the apricot trees as “the blackest jails of hell”, which reveals that something as natural and beautiful as trees are bringing feelings of sadness and depression to Manuel. In this maze Manuel believes that “there had to be an end”. And that “there had to be a way out. Locked”. Barrio sentence structure begins to reveals that Manuel feels like a caged animal. The word “locked” which is a fragment reveals the feelings of Manuel in his work place. The passage continues with Manuel feeling like a “Beast. Though he was perspiring heavily his shirt was powder dry. Savage. The hot dry air sucking every drop of living moisture from his brute body” The words or fragments of “beast” and “savage” reveals that Manuel feels as though he is working like an animal. Also “hot dry air” is being personified and is “sucking” the remains of moisture on his body, which reveals that the heat or sun, a part of nature which is suppose to bring light and happiness is making him tired and inhumane. Manuel eventually drinks “holy water in great brute gulps so he wouldn’t have to savor its tastelessness” to quench his thirst. The fact that Manuel believes that “holy water” is tasteless reveals that he is not religious or rather does not believe in a God. This is interesting also because the name Manuel, short for Emmanuel means “God is with us”, but Manuel obviously does not feel this way.
The first paragraph ends and the second paragraph consists of the word “lunch”, This one little word reveals the short time that Manuel has to rest and the amount of time he is slaving away like an animal. At this point in the day Manuel is “almost too exhausted to eat, he munched his cheese with tortillas…and then lay back on the cool ground for half an hour”. The long structure of this sentence gives the feeling Manuel is slowing down. Manuel than returns to “the trees. The branches again. The briarly branches. The scratching leaves. …The endlessly unending piling up of bucket upon box upon crate upon stack upon mound upon mountain”. Once he begins to work again the sentence structure becomes choppy and short and without verbs, suggesting that he is not feeling any movement although working very hard. He than says that he has become “a beast” and than “a ray of enemy sun penetrated the tree that hiding him and split his forehead open”. Manuel returns to this animal or machine-like state and becomes overwhelmed by the heat. Once again Barrio personifies the sun as an “enemy” and “splits open” Manuel’s forehead. The sun is a part of Manuel’s grueling work day and it makes his job unenjoyable and also makes him feel like an animal. Finally the “midafternoon” arrives and Manuel seems to slow down a little while thinking of “Sandy dreams. Cool nights. Cold drinks”. Manuel’s “fingers burned” and “he could hardly fill his last bucket. Suddenly… the day’s work was at last ended”. Manuel is finally free from this labor.
The seventh paragraph is one sentence long and states that “the contratista Roberto Morales stood there”. Roberto Morales is in charge of all of the migrant workers and his name “Morales” which means “son of moral”, but in English the pronunciation sounds like “moral less” meaning that he is a man without morals, which he is. Barrios continues to describe Morales as a “Mexican general. A gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, viscous, thieving brute”. These words reveal that although Morales may appear as a nice person who has “morals” he is actually an animal who is “moral less”. Barrio purposely places the words in this order to reveal that Morales appears as a nice person when in reality he is cruel. Although a Mexican like the rest of the workers Morlaes does not treat them with any respect and the güeros or Anglo Saxons know nothing of this. The güeros have “washed their clean blond bloodless dirtless hands of the whole matter”. This sentence reveals that the whites do not care about the fact that the migrant workers are being worked like animals and are over tired. This sentence also relates to the biblical story of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pontius Pilate had the power to ensure Jesus’ safety but becomes overwhelmed and chooses to “wash his hands of the matter” and leaves it up to the people of Judea. He similar to the güeros could have helped the underdog but chose to be selfish and only do things which will benefit themselves.
The story continues and the Mexican robber Morales announces to the workers that he “must take two cents from every bucket”. He apologizes and says that there must have been a “miscalculation” and that “everybody understands”. Morales is obviously extremely selfish and does not care about the migrant workers. Manuel becomes infuriated and says to Morales, “You promised to take nothing!” All of the workers become surprised that Manuel stood up for himself. Manuel and Morales are now upset with each other and are both ready to defend themselves. Barrio writes, “the two men, centered in a huge ring of red-ringed eyes”, while “the other exhausted animals studied the tableau through widening eyes”. These sentences create an image of two animals ready to attack. The workers are being compared to “animals” once again and this passage suggests that Manuel, Morales, and the workers are like animals in a jungle. Manuel then accidentally kicks over his bucket of fruit and “they rolled in all directions”. Morales becomes angry and says, “‘you pick them up, Gutierrez’”. “Gutierrez” means “he who rules”, which is interesting because up until this point in the story Manuel has not had control over anything. Barrio then writes, “He knew his name. After all”. These two short sentences reveal that Manuel is surprised that Morales acknowledges his existence as a human being. In response to Morales, Manuel “kicked over another bucket and again the fruit rolled away in all directions”. Suddenly, “an astonishing thing happened”. The rest of the workers “moved toward their own buckets” and took an ominous position over them”. Roberto Morales, than says “I shall take nothing this time”. Manuel than feels “a thrill of power course through his nerves” because he “had never won anything before”. Manuel is happy that he has stood up for himself and his family. Barrio continues to write that Manuel, “would have to pay…for his defiance”. This reveals that although Manuel does something good he will have to pay for it in the future. Manuel had salvaged his money savagely and he had earned respect from his fellow slaves”. The word “salvaged” and “savagely” reveal that Manuel is an animal or beast who defended himself in order to protect his family. His humanly instincts guided him and made him react the way he did. Manuel had stood up to Morales “and in his slow way, in his stupid, accidental, dangerous way, Manuel had made an extravagant discovery, as Don Gaspar had also made two centuries ago”. This sentence reveals that what Manuel did was not intentional, but was his reaction to his instincts. He is similar to Don Gaspar, who was a soldier in Spanish army, who after traveling for many hours with other soldiers and animals who were thirsty and in need in pastures, discovered, what is now known as the San Francisco Bay. Manuel and Gaspar are similar in the fact that they realize that they must work hard in order to get what they deserve. And also “that a man counted for something” and “are built for something more important and less trifling than the mere gathering of prunes and apricots, hour upon hour,…insensibly , mechanically. Manuel discovers that “men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride”. The last paragraph is one sentence which states “Or else they are dead before they die”. This last passage reveals that Manuel who has been overworked and has felt like an animal up to this point discovers that he must defend himself when necessary and realize that he is a human being who deserves a good life. One can not just work like a “beast” every day of their lives and let someone else control them. Manuel realizes that he is a human despite his laborious job.
Through his use of pacing and sentence structure Barrio suggests that Manuel is animal-like and that his job makes him feel as if he is not human. Barrio’s many religious and biblical allusions suggest that Manuel lives in a world that is unfair, but that only he can make it right. He defends himself from the greedy Morales and in the end he gains a sense of honor and pride. Manuel realizes that he is human and that he is worth more than he thinks.

Kevin Ta 5 said...

In this passage from The Plum Plum Pickers, author Raymond Barrio suggests the ongoing struggle that takes place between the rich and the poor. Specifically, those of higher social ranking exploit and abuse the “common man”, despite living more comfortable lives. Barrio’s use of terse sentences and striking imagery express the inhuman and animal qualities of these “common men”, the Spanish laborers who pick fruit during a hot day. In contrast, the higher up authoritative figures relax and enjoy the day, “smiling in their cool filtered offices, puffing their elegant thin cigars”(40). The differences in these social groups eventually cause conflict, resulting in a confrontation that reveals the underlying similarities of all humans, regardless of class.

Barrio portrays the protagonist, Manuel, as the lower ranking man who must savagely toil away to earn insufficient pay. In fact, it is notable that Barrio chooses to name the character “Manuel”, as he seems to hint at the character’s representation of the common man. The passage begins with him picking fruit among the rows of trees. He is “trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees … like the blackest bars on the jails of hell”(40). Barrio compares Manuel’s meager job to an animal’s imprisonment, punishment for those considered below human standards. The use of one word sentences, “locked”(40), “animal”(40), “brute”(40), “beast”(40), and “savage”(40), are dispensed between descriptions of Manuel’s search for a respite, water, conveying his primal instincts. The short phrases are like flashes of bestiality; they compel Manuel to quench his dire thirst after working in the hot dry air. Later on, the crew chief passes by Manuel and ridicules his performance, calling him a “pendejo”(40). This pejorative term further classifies Manuel as a lowly human being. Such low prey is easy picking for higher up predatory crew chiefs.

Roberto Morales, the crew chief and foreman of the Spanish laborers, is the primary predator and antagonist. Although a fellow Spaniard himself, Morales is described as a “vicious, thieving brute … to his own people”(40). He found these fruit picking jobs for his fellow men, but in doing so, rose to a position above them. In essence, he has betrayed his people by actually taking money from each of his laborer’s already scanty salary. Morales’ name is actually a pun for moralless, having no virtues or conscience, suggesting his lack of decency even among his own people.

However, as Morales comes around to collect two cents from everyone’s pay, a change in tone occurs. Unlike the earlier animal imagery of Manuel and the derogatory portrayal of Morales, the two characters come face to face in a quick scene of conflict. Even though having more authority and “[having] the whole advantage”(41), Morales is perturbed by Manuel’s deliberate action; the fruit picker tips over his bucket of fruits, wasting them to the ground. His comrades poise to do the same, prompting Morales to back off, stating that he “shall take nothing this time”(41). The lower social group, in effect, defeats the higher one with strength in numbers and cause. Manuel and the other pickers “[have] wrenched Morales’ greedy fingers away”(41), allowing them to feed their families just a bit more. In doing so, Manuel achieves a “sense of honor and pride”(41) in which all “men are built to experience”(41).
Different social classes continue to clash due to disparities in living style and wealth. The lower classes, typically taken advantage of by the higher classes, are deemed subhuman.

Despite the differences and conflicts that arise, all humans still have the right to feel dignity in protecting one’s family or serving one’s people, as Barrio clearly demonstrates in his depiction of Manuel.

Janelle C. 5 said...

Plum Plum Pickers Explication

“Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor pride. Or else they are dead before they die.” That was Raymond Barrio’s entire point in writing this story. Because if these workers didn’t have some pride in their work, some feeling of reason as to why they did it every single day, then the workers would have been emotionally dead before they died.
The first paragraph is written so the reader has an image of the workers being like animals, almost so much so that the reader would view them as less than human. “Animal. The buckets and the crates kept piling up higher. Brute. He felt alone. Though surrounded by other pickers. Beast.” This entire paragraph is set as if the picker were a trapped animal with no where to go, nothing to do but pick. And why should he pick? Well for no other reason than it is his job, what he does day in and day out, his soul purpose in life. Animals have purposes in life, jobs they do everyday, places on the food chain, a reason for being here, equaling out the Earth’s balance, but no one views them as having emotions or the ability to think the way people do. They are viewed as less than us, less than humans, just like the pickers. This is what Barrio wants his reader to take from this paragraph, the similarities between his pickers and animals of the world.
Then the climax of the story happens. Morales tries to take money from the pickers, treating them as animals, as undeserving of the money they earned, expecting them not to have the intellect or gall to protest, because he too viewed them as less than human. But they weren’t less than human. Manuel protests reprimanding Morales for trying to take money from him and his fellow pickers, despite the promise Morales made that he wouldn’t. So fueled by Manuel rebellion, the other pickers join in the protest and stand over their buckets of fruit threatening to pour them out as Manuel did. So “Without looking around, without taking his eyes off Manuel, Roberto Morales said sharply, “All right. All right, men. I shall take nothing this time.” Notice the world “men” in this quote, because only the pickers protested, refused to be viewed as less than Morales, no longer were viewed that way.
The men took pride and honor in what they did. It was hard, laborious work and they did it because the world needs fruit so the world needs people to pick that fruit. Also it supplies the men with money, with means to life. That is why when Morales so unhonorablly tried to take money that they earned through a hard days’ work, they had to do anything

Kristin D. 5 said...

In the story from Plum Plum Pickers’, the author Raymond Barrio suggests that men have to experience a point in their lives where they have to stand up for what is theirs and have integrity in their beliefs. Barrio suggests that men are built for this quality and that if men don’t stand up for what is rightfully theirs then “They are dead before they die” (2.) The main character in this story, Manuel, stands up for his hard-earned money against Morales who is trying to rob Manuel and his fellow workers.
The opening paragraph gives the effect of a big train of thought. The paragraph is written fast pace. Sentences in the paragraph are short and choppy. Barrio writes in a style that imitates the way a machine would process its information. The machine would process information and information and then it would end with a simple clean answer or sum up of all the information. “There had to be an end. There had to be. There – trapped. There had to be a way out. Locked. There had to be respite. Animal.” (p. 1) the way the whole first paragraph is written Barrio introduces the main character to the reader as more of a machine and animal more then as a human. Barrio wants to establish this to the reader to emphasize on the plum picker’s work style and find Manuel as a sympathetic character. “Drank the holy water in great brute gulps so he wouldn’t have to savor its tastelessness” (p.1) in this sentence there is symbolism in the “holy water”. Holy water is used in religious practices for things such as healing the sick but in this sentence holy water is seen in a negative way suggesting that religion is “tasteless” or lacking many answer’s to Manuel’s problems.
Lunch time comes and in this paragraph the lunch break seems as if it is very quick and short. “He felt his spirit swell out again like a thirsty sponge in water. Then up again.” (p.1) in this paragraph describing lunch Barrio chooses to use complete and full sentences. The sentences seem more relaxed but this is only in the first few sentences of the paragraph then the style reverts back to repetitive sentences. The repetitive sentences suggest that Manuel is back to work. The sentences also lack in verbs. Verbs in a sentence act as the action of the subject and since the sentence’s lack in action there is no movement forward which gives off the feeling of repetitiveness. “A ray of enemy sun penetrated the tree that was hiding him and split his forehead open. His mind whirred. He blacked out” (p.1) The sun is used as symbolism for torture, hell, or burning in this sentence. Barrio chooses to portray the sun as a negative symbol because it adds to the setting of the story. In this paragraph another character is introduced and that is Roberto. Roberto’s first words are “whatsamatter, can’t you see straight pendejo?” Barrio’s placement of Roberto’s dialect is directly related to Manuel’s spoken words in the begging paragraph, “Please to meetcha” These two quotes help establish characterization of the two characters and how they differ from each other. Manuel is portrayed as a more friendly character and Robert Morales and portrayed more as a mean character. Their names also impact the way they act because in Manuel’s name there is the word “Man”. Essentially Manuel is the symbol of a man. In Roberto Morales’s name there is the word “moral” and “less” so Robert is a man without morals. Barrio puts these two characters in opposition to each other to create a character conflict of good versus evil.
In the next paragraph there is a lot of detail on Roberto Morales’s character. “A real robber. A Mexican general. A gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute.” Barrio phrases this sentence to show the layers of Morales’s personality from outside to inside. On the outside Roberto is gentlemen like but on the inside he is a thieving brute. “he was actually the shrewdest, smartest, richest cannibal in forty countries around” (p.1) Barrio chooses the word cannibal to describe Roberto but not in a sense that he literally eats human beings but in a more in a sense that he “eats” at them to get what he wants. Roberto uses others and feeds off other’s work to benefit himself. Roberto is a man is a man of great power. Barrio shows the reader Roberto’s power by demonstrating how at first nobody speaks up against him when he wanted to take money from them. “Yes everyone understood. Freezing in place. After all that hard work.” The character conflict between Roberto and Manuel is intensified when Manuel spoke up against Roberto. “The two men, centered in a huge ring of red-ringed eyes, glared at each other. Reaching for each other’s jugular. The other exhausted animals studied the tableau” (p.2) There is a lot of imagery in this. The whole paragraph and description of what is going on is very vivid and intensifying. The reader is able to distinguish the beginning style to the style of the climax.
Roberto and Manuel circle each other while everyone else is watching in anticipation of who is to the make the next move. Manuel then kicks over his bucket of fruit and with the support of everyone else who “moved toward their own buckets still standing beside them on the ground awaiting the truck gatherer and took an ominous position over them, straddling their feet over them” Manuel was able to claim a power over Roberto. In turn, Manuel has his “moment of glory” that Barrio suggests that all men should have.

Ronald d5 said...

Life in the Wild

As humans, people see themselves above any other living thing on this world because they have minds that bear intelligence but people fail to realize that they still really are animals and will tend to behave like animals. In The Plum Plum Pickers, Raymond Barrios suggests that people are animals and by primitive instinct people will act like animals in the survival of the strongest to strive to be superior. Barrios’s creation of this meaning is expressed through his sentence structure, word choice, and juxtaposition.
Barrios conveys the idea that people are animals by using sentence fragments in his sentence structure in combination with words that characterize the people to resolve and also emphasize the idea of people being animals. These people are migrant workers that work tirelessly throughout the day with no judgment or sensibility at all. They pick apricots under unkind conditions all day to make a small amount of money and are treated almost like slaves. Barrios uses one word fragments of sentences of nouns to describe the workers. Barrios calls a worker an “Animal… Brute… Beast… Savage” (40) to characterize the worker metaphorically. Each one of these words are isolated sentences scattered in the passage so they stand out more distinctly when the passage is read which in effect emphasizes the meaning of these words. Animals, brutes, beasts, and savages, all have in common that they can be viewed as primitive and mindless. Many people associate the characteristics of primitive and mindless with animals since most animals prove themselves to be according to most people’s understandings or possible misunderstandings. With this, Barrios is calling the migrant laborers animals.
The workers are described in light of their bodies compared to animals. Barrios does this to express his idea that humans are animals. He writes that a migrant worker “drank the holy water in great brute gulps… to replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig gristle…” (40) People, being humans have proper etiquette but here, the worker just drinks the water in brute gulps taking no consideration into being proper and drinking it slowly and respectfully. Barrios lowers the stature of the people to that of not even a human being but to an animal where there is no standards for eating or drinking or anything. Then Barrios continues to convey this idea by describing the parts of the body that can resemble the part of an animal. The worker’s brute cells can be seen as the nature of the body how it is brute, rough, and raw. The animal pores and pig gristle is used by barrios to compare body parts of the animal and the human to show that human in relation to animals are animals. The pores and gristle are present in both the human and animal so that just makes people a step closer to being animals. Barrios then goes on to talk about the stinking stench from follicles that humans possess and he also implies that animals have it too so that makes humans just like animals. Barrios sums it all up by metaphorically calling the body of the worker, a “truly refined wreck of an animal” (40).
In the world of the wild, the rules are the survival of the fittest and the most superior animal shall govern. Barrios exhibits this idea by creating the juxtaposition of Manuel and Roberto Morales. Barrios places these 2 characters together for the purpose of comparison of how they both are animals and what their primitive instincts tell them to do over power. Roberto is at the top of the hierarchy governing the workers when Manuel rises to the occasion unable “to keep his temper from flaring” (41) over Roberto’s injustice. Manuel is a mere slave worker standing up to a man of high stature like Roberto. Like an untamed animal, Roberto is unable to hold back his anger and stands up to Roberto. Manuel then stands victorious over Roberto who steps down over his position of power which has transitioned over to Manuel who “felt a thrill of power course through his nerves” (41). Only the stronger animals live and survive and in this case Manuel stood up to the stronger person, Roberto and in the end over came him showing that he is stronger and for a second he even leads the other workers.
People are all still animals and just because they have proper etiquette or higher standards, it does not make them change themselves from being animals. Humans have all the basic attire to be an animal from our bodies to even how our society works. Raymond Barrios demonstrates this because it is important for people not to forget what they really are and that society is basically run like how it is run in the wild with the animals.

Kathleen d5 said...

Kathleen D

In Raymond Barrio's The Plum Plum Pickers, Barrio style of writing is used to show that men should not be used to be treated like animals or machine-like but to have pride and honor. Barrio does this through his uses of symbols, allusions, imagery and tone.
Barrio write that, “For men, Manuel dimly suspected, are build for something more important and less trifling than the mere gathering of prunes and apricots, hour upon hour, decade upon decade, insensibly, mechanically, antlike. Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride. Or else they are dead before they die” He writes this to explain that men are not created to be treated as animals. Instead, Barrio believes to be human means to have some type of honor and pride. In Manuel’s case, he is built to only work which makes him less human. Barrio uses the name Manuel for him to portray Manuel as a man of labor or something that is being manual. Barrio mentions that if you are dead before you die if you don’t have a sense of pride and honor because to him he believes that Manuel is already dead because he does not get to live life. For Manuel and the workers life is just about working from sun rise to sun dust. It means that men are here to learn and teach others what they do not know so we can help one another so we can have a better life.
''And in his slow way, accidental, dangerous way, Manuel had made an extravagant discovery… And that was- that a man counted for something.'' When Manuel finally stands up for himself he finally feel as tho he is human. The reason for this is because he sense pride and honor from keeping Roberto from taking money from the workers. In this passage Manuel becomes more than just a worker but a man who stands up for what he believe is rightfully his.

Shaun N 5 said...

“The Plum Plum Pickers Explication”
by Shaun...
In the excerpt from The Plum Plum Pickers, author Raymond Barrio attempts to contrast a migrant worker and his boss; what actually comes across, however, is a chilling connection that, in end, shows how the migrant worker is more like his boss than expected. The passages throughout the excerpt ultimately convey with the feel of a persuasive-like essay. The persuasion, of course, would be in convincing the reader that Manuel, the protagonist (also a migrant worker) is the “good guy.” Roberto Morales, antagonist, is obviously made to look like the “bad guy.” It is up for grabs to say what exactly defines each character as “good” or “bad” but a new theme arises within this manner of writing: Are all human beings born innocent, or with a natural instinct to do evil?

The first two paragraphs in the excerpt, not including the word “lunch,” are a perfect opportunity for Manuel to succeed automatically in his persuasion. However, where he fails and where the reader picks up, is in his descriptions of him and the other migrant workers around him. He uses single words within the paragraphs and depicts his own people as, “Animal/Brute/Beast/Savage,” (paragraph 1) and finally, “predator.” Unfortunately, it is unclear what exactly is meant by these single-word sentences. It is to assume that either he is describing what he sees, or what he sees his people are being made into. The problem in either solution still remains, and that is in the fact that Manuel is giving into using these words as adjectives. These words alone illustrate a subconscious ability for human beings to see each other in this way, as “Animal/Savage.”

The second half of the excerpt introduces the antagonist, Roberto Morales. It is shown right off that Morales was once one of the migrant workers. “Despite his being a fellow Mexican, despite his torn, old clothing/Despite his crude, ignorant manner, showing that he was one of them, that he’d started with them, that he grew up with them, that he’d suffered all the sordid deprivations with them…” (paragraph 7, technically) This is a clear comparison between him and all the migrant workers. Also, there is another unintentional, and frightening similarity made between the migrant workers and the people forcing them to work, of which includes Roberto Morales. First, in describing the people who hired Morales, the excerpt reads, “They fulfilled their end of the bargain, and cheated no one. Their only crime; their only soul grime indeed was that they just didn’t give a shit how that migratory scum lived.” (paragraph 7) Further on the story, in describing Manuel’s uprising against Morales, the excerpt reads, “But they wouldn’t give a damn. It was bread, pan y tortillas out of his children’s mouths. But they still wouldn’t give a single damn.” (last paragraph) These two quotes show that both Morales and Roberto, and anyone else involved, did what they had to do to survive.

Though, by the end of the excerpt, the question may still be left unanswered, one thing does remain true, which is that human beings are all very similar when they are stripped to the core. In this story, all the characters have reacted in the same way they would if they were in anyone else’s situation. Morales cheats his own people to stay afloat and provide for himself and his family; Manuel stands up to Morales to keep his share of his pay for the day. The words used to describe the people, and the style in which they are presented are only further evidence to prove that these people are all the same, and just in different situations.

Rodney B5 said...

Throughout The Plum Plum Pickers by Raymond Barrio, thoughts are brought up concerning human beings. Two sides are shown but show completely different views on how humans act, think, and feel. These are hidden through actions and names. The protagonist, Manuel, and another character, Morales, show the two sides behind humans.
As the passage begins, words are said after sentences. “There had to be a way out. Locked. There had to be a respite. Animal.”(40) Though not noticeable right away, these words after every sentence show the idea behind how Manuel and his people are treated. They are made to work hard, under the sun, in the heat, as if they were animals. “The hot dry air. The Hot dry air sucking every drop of living moisture from his brute body.”(40) Again, he emphasizes the condition they are in while working to show how they really are animals to the men who are making them work like this even though they are humans just like they are.
Once the first paragraph is over, it is continued with “Lunch.”(40) The author uses this very short, one word, one sentence paragraph in order to show how the break Manuel and his fellow workers received felt very short in comparison to the long amount of time they spent working. After this, the reader is led back to a description of the extent of their exhaustion. “He picked up a mountain of cots automatically. An automator. A beast.”(40) Here the author compares the humans who are working to a sort of robot who does things automatically, taking orders from others instead of standing up for oneself in order to stop their struggle. They continue to take orders because of not knowing what will happen to them if they decide to stand up for themselves since they are in a position where they have less power than those who are commanding them to work.
The story progresses and leads to a description of another character, Morales. “Despite his crude, ignorant manner, showering that he was one of them, that he’d started with them, that he grew up with them, that he’d suffered all the sordid deprivations with them, he was actually the shrewdest, smartest, richest cannibal in forty counties around.”(40) The word cannibal is used to describe him. He doesn’t literally eat humans, but he deprives them of certain objects like money in order to in a sense “feed” himself so he can live. This is a human who may not care of others life or situation so he takes from others in order to help himself.
Morales, after everybody is done working, asks for the workers to give him two cents from each of their buckets after all the work they had done. Manuel stands up for everybody. “‘You promised to take nothing!’ Manuel heard himself saying. Everyone turned in astonishment to stare at Manuel.”(41) The author puts them in this situation to bring up both men in confrontation with one another. Morales, who represents men without moral, which can be read through his name “moral-les”, is pushing the workers as far as he can go by making them work and now attempting to take the money they have earned. Manuel who represents “man”, which is the first three letters of his name, realizes that enough is enough. He is a human after all and has his limits.
The author shows that men have a tendency to go against one another, yet the corrupt always end up being out numbered. The “normal” men like Manuel just need an extra “push” to get them to realize they have to stand up for what they believe in. This is an obvious trend that can be seen throughout history and is pointed out in this passage from The Plum Plum Pickers.

Mario R. 5 said...

Mario prd.5
In the story of plum plum pickers Manuel is a hard working farmer/slave who feels that the day drag on in a repeating routine. One of the reason that he believes this is because he is not very fond of his boss Roberto Morales who is a former slave but now takes advantage of his workers by taking a percentage of their pay for him self and Manuel is fad up with it. The author Raymond barrio purpose of the story the plum plum a picker is to show the morals of men. Barrio shows how some people do all the work and others wreak all the awards. Barrio does this though imagery, word context, and one word sentence. He shows the difference between two men one Roberto Morales and Manuel. Roberto is a former slave who was made boss by he’s employer and now takes advantage of his former co-workers.
The first way that barrio shows the morals of men is though imagery were he haves Manuel doing hard work and then he haves Roberto Morales doing nothing and takes credit for there work and also taking there money. In the 2nd paragraph after lunch Manuel gets back to work. “The endlessly unending piling up of bucket upon box upon crate upon stack upon rack upon mound upon mountain.” In this passage Manuel is working hard for his pay even though he dislikes it. Then on the second page barrio shows Morales and his lack of morals trying to go against his word. “now announced Morales at last , un his friendliest tone. Now I must take two cents from every bucket… you promise to take nothing Manuel heard himself saying. Everyone turned in astonishment.” Barrio place this passage in to show the lack of morals that Morales have and also to show Manuel stick up for his morals.
Throughout the story Barrio use and variety of words to express manuals feeling about what is going on at that pacific moment. For instance when Barrio writes “All wafting through his feverish moments. Tiredness drained his spirit of will. Exhaustion drained his mind. His fingers burned. His arms flailed the innocent trees.” In this passage barrio use a beautiful word choice to explain what Manuel is feeling. Barrio is explaining the exhaustion of a hard days work. The heat from the sun and the back aching work he tells the audience of fever moments that his skin starts to burn and how he is wavering away the trees away to nothing. Then right after that Manuel faints and “Roberto happened and shook his head. “whatsamatter, can’t you see straight, pendejo.” In this passage barrio shows how Morales lacks morals.
Barrio uses one word sentence to indicate the differences between Manuel and Morales morals. For instance in the first paragraph he Manuel says “Animal.” In writing this word in this paragraph he lets people know that he works like an animal. Then later he haves Morales saying palms up. Which shows both of their morales one who works hard another who just wreaks the awards.
The last thing that he does is choice there names toshow the morals of men he names Manuel, Manuel as in manual labor and morales is for moral-less for lack of morals. So these are the reason why I believe that the barrio purpose is two show the morals of men.

Edmund H5 said...

Standing Up

In the passage of “The Plum Plum Pickers,” by Raymond Barrio, the author makes clear on the fact that humankind must rise up to their beliefs and fight for themselves. There are people, who exploit the silence of others while treating them like animals but the whole human existence is pride in one’s own work.

The workers don’t speak up when their money is being taken away right in front of them; they just accept it. They are fully aware of how powerless they are and that Morales has the upper hand. They are workers in need of money and Morales can just as easy replace them with cheaper laborers. Furthermore, Morales is the “richest cannibal” and “they sure couldn’t blame the guiros for this miscarriage.” The poverty-stricken workers acknowledge that Morales is just looking for moneys and that they are his prey he preys upon; it’s just the cycle of life. Also, the 2 characters who have a voice in this passage are Roberto Morales, and Gutierrez Manual. It’s the author’s casual way to reference Roberto’s lack of morals while remarking how Gutierrez is forced to manual labor. The workers are silent from fear that they will loose their jobs and cease to exist.

Workers are forced to work in harsh conditions, refined to the “endless maze of apricot trees.” The “neat rows of, neatly planted, row after row,” of trees are like the bars on a jail cell. They are caged in animals trying to survive in life and they are viewed that way since they are only trying to survive like an animal. The author gives a description followed by one word to describe life as a worker at the apricot establishment. The author starts the passage this way and his one word descriptions are; “locked”, “animal”, “brute”, “beast”, “savage”, “wreck”, “predator.” The theme that these words emanate as a single being is used to describe, again, the workers as caged in savages trying to look for a means of survival. They are animals. They don’t stand up for their beliefs, morals, or principle. What is the difference between man and animal? Humans without principles are just the same as any savage animal; it is morals and principles that distinguish humankind from the rest of the beasts in the animal kingdom.

The theme of this passage is that, “Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride.” Manuel was one person who stood up against Morales and through his actions he gained supporters to save the workers money. Manuel felt “power” flow through his body and it is this experience that allows Manuel and the workers to have a sense of what being human is really about, to stand up for their beliefs. Individuals must stand up for their beliefs, “or else they are dead before they die.” This phrase deals with the workers, before they were all just “automator” living there lives without a sense of pride, only to work and suffer hardships.

People must stand up for their principles and to never abandon their beliefs or else they will never be treated like humans. It is principles and morals that separate humans from beasts. People who allow others to exploit them are nothing more than animals themselves and they will be treated like one if they continue to allow people to exploit them. Humans exist “to experience a certain sense of honor and pride.”

Derek D5 said...

In the excerpt from “Plum Plum Pickers” Raymond Barrio writes his main character, Manuel, as if he is both a beast of burden and a human being. Barrios reason for doing this is to demonstrate the duality of the human existence.
Barrio begins the story with a line stating that, “No matter which way he turned, he was trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees, as though forever, neat rows of them, neatly planted, row after row, just like the blackest bars on the jail of hell.” This line is written in a flowing style, moving from one thought to another. This writing style creates a fast pace, and infuses energy into the reader as they move from word to word. The imagery in this sentence creates visions of a massive cage. The rest of the first paragraph is a series of short phrases and single word sentences. Several of these words are, “Animal…Brute…Beast…Savage…Wreck…Predator.” The words are all related to the animal kingdom. But at the same time they can describe less civilized people. Again, these words break up the flow of the paragraph and in doing so, Barrio attracts the reader’s attention. These animalistic adjectives reflect back on their speaker Manuel who refers to drinking “in great brute gulps,” and “letting it spill down his torn to cool his exhausted body, to replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig gristle.” Barrio makes it clear that Manuel regards himself as more animal then human in this first paragraph.
In the second paragraph, Manuel takes a lunch break. Although this action sounds mundane, Manuel sentences take on a different form. He says at the opening of the paragraph, “Almost too exhausted to eat, he munched his cheese with tortillas, smoked on ashes, then lay back on the cool ground for half an hour.” This sentence stands out in stark contrast to the sentences in the previous paragraph. By size alone it is far longer then the previous sentences, which sported sentences such as, “He felt alone.” These shorter sentences resembled a train of thought. There are moments where the paragraph fully shifts away from where Manuel’s intentions are. This second paragraph does not have the feeling of a train of thought. The ideas in this paragraph are more definite. It is clear what Manuel is talking about on his lunch break. However when Manuel resumes his work, his ideas become quick and less like the clearly defined thoughts which the start of the paragraph housed. Manuel states “The trees. The branches again. The briarly branches. The scratching leaves. The twigs tearing at his shirt sleeves. The ladder. The rough bark.” None of these phrases are full sentences but all are associated with Manuel’s job of picking apricots. These short ideas are used by Barrio to depict the animal like quality Manuel exhibits when working. While the long sentences are used by Barrio to show the reader that Manuel is not just some beast of burden but a man.
The third paragraph is written so that the reader imagines Manuel, getting ready to end his work day. His thoughts drift from thoughts of the trees to thoughts of, “Cool nights. Cold drinks. Soft guitar music with Lupe sitting beside him.” These ideas are still short, with little structure to them. Showing the reader that Manuel is still working. Once the work day is over Manuel’s thought pattern changes. He gives the reader a description of the contractor in charge of the apricot fields. Manuel describes him as, “A gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute.” This description peels back each layer that belongs to the contractor named Roberto. The insight Manuel shows into who his employer is reflects the actual mental ability belonging to Manuel. A simple animal would not see the danger inherent in a man like Roberto. But Manuel sees it. Not long after his introduction, Roberto demonstrates why Manuel feels he is a thief. Roberto states, “Now. I must take two cents from every bucket. I am sorry. There was a miscalculation. Everybody understands. Everbody.” Manuel explains that take two cents form each bucket would mean a loss of two to three dollars out of each man’s pay check, and further meaning that Roberto would literally taking bread off of their families table. Manuel states that Roberto “promised to take nothing.” And Roberto replies that “I said two cents hombre. You got a problem with that.” Evidently Manuel did have a problem with that. Both men squared off circled by the “other exhausted animals” also known as the other workers. At the last moment “with his last energy, Manuel lifted his foot and clumsily tipped over his own last bucket of cots. They rolled away in all directions around everyone’s feet.” This moment of defiance rallies the other workers to Manuel’s side. He tells us that upon seeing him tip his bucket they “moved towards toward their own buckets still standing beside them on the ground awaiting the truck gatherer, and took an ominous position over them, straddling their feet over them.”
Manuel’s defiance against Roberto sparks a minor rebellion to defend their wages. Simple animals would not have noticed the change in their pay. Barrio went through the effort to write this story in order to present his readers with the duality of the migrant workers. They work like animals; they do not think in any real complex manner while on the job. Beneath the animalistic character the migrant workers exhibit, they are still living human beings. Many of whom have families to feed, and must live from paycheck to paycheck. The workers can not take a pay cut, but people like Roberto consistently abuse the people they hire. Barrio’s story is written as a reminder that despite the tasks they perform the workers are still people. They may work like beasts of burden, but should not be treated as such.

Wendy C.5 said...

In the short story, The Plum Plum Picker, Raymond Barrio suggests that human beings have dignity and will power that make them different from the nonliving machines. Barrio shows it through the portrayals of the characters and the conflict between them. He uses the third person view through the eyes of the protagonist as the main point of view to reveal his idea. Barrio sets up a situation where the protagonist and his fellow workers are like machines that work so hard to earn money and have it taken away from them.
Barrio set this story based on a working day of the protagonist, Manuel, who is a prune and apricot picker. In the first paragraph, it shows the beginning of the day where Manuel is working in “an endless maze of apricot trees”. (40) Manuel is describing his day and thoughts Barrio added in between the descriptive sentences one word phrases, which show the hectic action in the beginning of the day and the fast speed that the workers are working at in their mechanical state automatically doing things without unnecessary commands. Barrio used the word, “locked” (40), to show how Manuel and the workers are unable to leave the place. As Manuel continue his train of thoughts, “animal”, “brute”, “beast”, and “savage” (40) phrases appeared. Manuel describes his very own “exhausted body” (40) as an animal with “brute cells” (40) and “animal pores” (40). Barrio use that to portray both the protagonist and the worker appear as animals than humans. It shows how they have no honor working as pickers and treated as harshly as animals. Barrio used single word to divide two paragraphs along the beginning of the story. It sets the time in which the event occurs. The second paragraph sets during the lunch time where things are calmer than the beginning for a short period. The paragraph begins with longer sentence than the one word phrase to show that the speed of work has slow down. Manuel’s “short rest” (40) shows how short the time is for lunch. Afterwards, it became hectic again. “The trees” (40) and “the branches” (40) were used to show that there is no movement forward in the work because no action occurred.
In Manuel’s picking of apricots, he was like an n machine. Manuel picked the “mountain of cots automatically” (40). He act similar to an “automator” (40) that continuously doing the same thing over ad over without thoughts about it. It shows how the workers are so uniform and lifeless. Barrio introduces another character by the name of Robert Morales. The name, Morales, represent the person as a person without morals. It is similar to Manuel’s name, which represent a simple man or manual. It tells the characteristic of the people just by their names. Morales is truly a person with out morals and is the “worst kind” (40). He is described as “a gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute” (40). Barrio shows the layers toward Morales’s true personality by using contradictions to describe Morales. Mid afternoon shows the near end of work for the people. In the end, it shows Morales trying to steal money off of the pickers to satisfy himself. Unlike a machine at this point, Manuel spoke up and spurred the others to rebel. Instead of being an obedient machinery or beast that does what the master want, Manuel and the others did not forfeit their money over. He and the others “moved toward their buckets” (41) and kick it in attempt to stop Morales’s rule over them. Barrio made Manuel show “his defiance” (41) to create Manuel’s dignity, will power and realization of the purpose of men. It shows that the workers who are constantly working like machines “are dead before they die” (41). Barrio uses the two characters to create a situation where the people have to strike back and show the actual life that they hidden while automatically doing their work.
Barrio show his idea that human beings have dignity and will power that makes them truly alive. Humans are not machines that would follow every order given without questions. It show that they have a will and they will not stand to be treated like machine just because of superiority ranking. They have their dignity to protect the things they rightfully earn.

Chris O5 said...

Plum Plum Pickers

Throughout the excerpt the author uses a great deal of description to portray the idea of being human and feel a sense a pride. The author uses the description to describe how a sense of pride and their emotions can coexist with each other and one doesn’t know if the emotion that one feels could help them bring a person closer to the sense of pride and accomplishment. Throughout the story protagonist, antagonist as well as the workers of the apricot fields is proving the idea.
The author begins by using a great deal of description to describe the setting of where the workers work “trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees as though forever, neat rows of them, neatly planted, row after row, just like the blackest bars on the jails of hell.” (Pg 40) The description is demonstrating the author’s idea of being human; when a human works in a field and the work is repetitive a person will begin to give a description of the work environment as a horrible environment. The author uses a fruit plantation where an abundance of fruit grow and it’s thought to be a healthy environment. Instead the protagonist uses the imagery of a jail bars or hell, where a person would go if they were to do something that was against the law or a person who is a believer of the Christian faith will go if they were to defy the laws that were set forth by god himself. The author uses also imagery to describe the protagonist and the antagonist to better understand the story and get an idea of what the story of these two people relate to each other. Their names are Manuel and Roberto Morales, if one were to break down Manuel’s name a person would be able to see that they get man and also the idea of manual labor and that is what Manuel is to the story worker in the apricot fields who is trying to make a living not only for himself but for his family too. The idea of being human is closely related to Manuel morals and beliefs because thorough out time people are used to work on major projects and have a person who is in charge of all the labors such as Roberto Morales. Roberto Morales also can be described as another aspect that a human being portrays especially when a person has power. The idea that Morales show is someone who is without any morals and he demonstrated the idea towards this workers. In the story the author contradicts himself of the idea of being human because throughout the story he describes the workers as not even human but animals “ … to replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig gristle, a truly refined wreck of an animal…” (Pg 40), The only time that a person would feel as a machine or an animal is when they are being over worked with very little or no pay at all (slaves) and they have a tendency to do it for a long period of time with very little rest and someone who is constantly is overlooking the progress to make sure that everything run as smooth as possible.
A person undergoes the human feeling of anger such as Morales and Manuel faced in the story as the two of the battle it out for respect and to stand up for the morals that they believe in. Manuel stands with the belief that he should work hard and feed his family and it will get him to places that he wants and a decent living. Unlike the point of views of Morales who’s point of view are different than those of Manuel. Morales is a person who believes that power is the most important thing and that running anything with authority will get him places faster and he is willing to do anything to get his way. With these two personalities there is bound to be a conflict as Manuel and Morales demonstrated when Morales was trying to take money from the workers because there was a miscalculation in the number of buckets there was. “Now. I must take two cents from every bucket. I am sorry. There was a miscalculation. Everyone understands.” (Pg 41), The author tries and demonstrate the personality that human being portrays so that one must save themselves by any means even if it means hurting others in the process. “You promised to take nothing!” was said by the other personality who has strong beliefs in what the person is doing and he was willing to put anything on the line. Manuel demonstrates that pride is more important than his job that he was working because he stood up to someone who is suppose to be higher in command. The conflict that they both create for each other works for one person and it hurts the other one. The author uses great imagery to describe the struggle that was happening with both Morales and Manuel and what appeared to be a fight about ready to break out. “The two men, centered in a huge ring of red-ringed eyes, glared at each other. Reaching for each other’s jugular. The other exhausted animals studied the tableau through widening eyes.” (Pg 41).The power struggle started to diminish when Manuel knocked over his bucket of apricots and he had all the people who had the same beliefs stick together and decided to overthrow and take charge in what they believe in. The author is demonstrating the fact that one someone starts something and they stand what a person would believe in they would get a sense of pride and accomplishment such as Manuel did when he stood up to Morales and how people followed him and Morales decided not to do anything about what he said he was going to do. The author showed the pride in the fact that Manuel showing defiance towards Morales “He had never won anything before. He would have to pay for this, for his defiance, somehow, again, later. But he had shown defiance. He had salvaged his money savagely and he had earned respect from his fellow slaves.”(Pg 41), the authors description was showing the pride that a human and can feel even if one knows that they will end up paying for it sometime in the future. The author demonstrates that being human is living full of emotions and feeling a sense of pride goes hand and hand as well as motivation to keep close to ones morals.

Mark D5 said...


Raymond Barrio writes his except from the story Plum Plum Pickers in a way that makes his main character Manuel seem trapped like animal which ultimately leads to his revolt against his greedy boss. Barrio experiments with the idea of how pressured and physically tired does a man have to feel before he says "that is enough" and finally stands up for not only him self but his fellow workers. There is only so much torment a man can take. There is only so much lack of space in a man's cage in which they can endure before they have to break free. And this finally straw for Manuel is his boss's pay cut. A pay cut which was not only promised not too happen but one that was most likely going straight into the pocket of the acquisitive employer, Rodriguez.

In the first paragraph word choice is the biggest way Barrio reduces the workers to animals. Brute is repeated five times in only the first paragraph. If Barrio reduces the characters of the story it helps get a sense of how trapped and poorly treated they are. “There had to an end. There had to be. There- trapped. There had to be a way out. Locked. There had to be a respite. Animal.(Paragraph 1)" By repeating the phrase "There had to be" Barrio is basically saying that there is no way out. The workers can dream and believe that there is but they are trapped like animals. Barrio also uses one word sentence to get across the point of being reduced to animals. Words such as " Animal", "Locked", "Beast", "Wreck", and "Predator" are symbolized their imprisonment. Even the task of getting a drink of water relieved themselves from the day's heat transforms them into animals. “Replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig gristle, a truly refined wreck of an animal." Pig gristle is not phrase normally used for describing a man's pores and follicles but Barrio does to make it seem that these workers are nothing but low down dirty animals.

Lunch and Midafternoon were only given one word to their paragraphs. These are the times that the workers look forward to. During the days work they pray for their time when they can relax. But Lunch and Midafternoon are not long, relaxing, enjoyable times. These are short and when over the workers have to go straight back to work. Because these periods are so short they are given one word each. Barrio's techniques are working. After lunch thoughts are sped back up to the quick sentences with much thought in them. Trees and branched are being symbolized in this passage. "The briary branches. The scratching leaves. “The twigs tearing at his shirt sleeves." ( Paragraph 3). The trees are not hated by the workers. The trees are all they know. In Albert Camus’ essay entitled The Myth of Sisyphus he describes Sisyphus' rock as being "his thing". The rock is not hated but it symbolizes all the toil he goes through. In Plum Plum Picker's the tress are in a sense Manuel’s thing. The symbol all the work he has done throughout his years, and for what, to have all his money stolen by Rodriquez? No matter how hard Manuel tries his bucket will fall "splattering the fruit he so laboriously picked" to the ground and all of his work will go to waste.

The theme Barrio is getting across is located in the last paragraph of the except. It does not matter how trapped and animal like you feel you can always conquer and prevail. Man has the need to "experience on and pride. Or else they are dead before they die". If the workers continued to live their lives being steeped on Barrio is saying that they would be already dead. If it wasn't for the word choice and symbolizes earlier on the passage they overall theme would ave been lost. Men are not machines. Men are not animals. They are people who need to feel a sense of achievement and honor or else there would be no point in continuing one's life.

ashley S5 said...

In the story Plum Plum Pickers, the author explicates the message of what it means to be human. The author gives symbolism to identify to the reading the morals of life and what one’s purpose in life should be. The author gives vivid comparisons and description of the story’s setting and characters. Each character’s name sets their role in life. Throughout the story, the author presents to the reader that a man’s morals and values in life should represent a sense of honor and pride because without struggles there is no character.
In the first paragraph the author identifies the character and sets the environment through short wording and detailed description of symbolism. The tone of the paragraph is fast paste tempo. It is being used to give the reader a perceptive on the workers and the surroundings of their environment. The single words previous following sentences. As the paragraph progresses the sentences become shorter until it is divided by short words. Each short word is description to describe Manuel being trapped in his society as an enslaved animal. Manuel is symbolized as a machine that has the purpose of manual labor. His labor is piled endlessly. Between each paragraph phase there contains a time period frame to symbolize fast paste time.
The next paragraph symbolizes the workers purpose in life. The two man, Manuel and Morales names are symbols from the author to present their characteristics. Manual’s name represents the relation between man and manual machine. Morales’ name presents moral-less. Each character comes from different background of morals. Manuel’s character contains leadership and honor and pride. He has dignity and respect for his people and will sacrifice himself to stand up for what he believes in. He will grow through life with fear but will not allow it to stop him and will pull through with courage and faith on his side. This is proven through the passage on page two….. “For men, Manuel dimly suspected, are built for something more important and less trifling than the mere gathering of prunes and apricots, hour upon hour, decade upon decade, insensibly, mechanically, antlike.” This quote is stating that Manuel’s purpose in the story is to allow the reader to understand the meaning to have dignity and to have pride in your morals in life. It illustrates to the reader the image to have character and to cherish your values. For Morales, his name symbolizes that he has no value in life and has no respect for his own people. He has let money come over his heart and spirit towards human kind. He has rejected the purpose of human nature and the beauty that it contains when one can cherish their value.
Throughout the story the author sets out the message to the readers the consequences of each circumstance of standing by ones morals and honoring one’s pride, culture and faith. Without one’s morals and respect for one’s self and those who come from the same background, then there is no meaning to one’s life. Therefore they are dead spiritually even though they are living physically.

kev.tr.5.. said...

Animals you think, animals you are

In the story, Plum Plum Pickers, Barrios describes Manuel masked as completely human though under the skin, of Manuel and humanity, there are animalistic qualities hidden in the human wants and needs shown through the normal work day of Manuel as he labors continuously through blazing heat getting what he wants, an easy day.
Humans’ often want to obtain higher power and freedom. This desire of power and freedom often turn to greed often turns to a path of downfall. Animals are really no different as they will always desire of food, leading them to prey on those weaker. Animals learn from their first hunt the most, as does Manuel.
“Manuel felt a thrill of power course through his nerves. He had never won anything before. He would have to pay for this, for his defiance, and somehow, again, later. But he had shown defiance. He had salvaged his money savagely and he had earned respect from his fellow slaves.”
Freedom is not the true aim of Manuel. Power, respect, and his own money influence Manuel’s rebellious acts. The freedom that came with the power and respect frees Manuel from his labor prison described as “the jails of hell”. His labor prison is what “Locked” him up as an “Animal” and a “Brute… Beast”. Through Barrios’ words, he gives the reader an imagery of animalistic detail. Manuel obtains power and respect through his “savage” defiance, and this gives the reader an enhanced animal essence emitted from Manuel.
Humans form ideas, religions, and facts through complete thought. Complete thought often develop into complete sentences of mind and text. Anything that does not form complete human thought is not human at all, but exists just as animals of the wild. Through the harsh working environment, Manuel describes his work day having, “hot dry air. The hot dry air sucking every drop of living moisture from his brute body”. The incomplete thoughts of images of, “The trees. The branches again. The briarly branches, the scratching leaves. The twigs tearing at his shirt sleeves” capture the miniscule cruelness of the environment. These images are created through Manuel, who describes the environment in many incomplete thoughts. He almost achieves the full thought set by human expectation, but falls shorts of the human quality of whole thought. “The trees. The branches again” lack the flow of a sentence because they lack action. Without action, human visualization is hindered. Though Manuel is completely human, describing his environment with incomplete thoughts gives him an animal like, or non-human, feature, being unable to form complete ideas.
Barrio uses Manuel’s desire to become free and respected, a supposed respectable wanting. Under the desire for freedom is the desire for power and money, greed. Greed breeds the animal features of man. Manuel had animal qualities inside him from the start, as they were “locked” up. Through incomplete phrases and working in the harsh environment, Barrio is able to pull out the aura of animal characteristics from Manuel.

Doris T5 said...

Plum Plum Pickers

In the short story Plum Plum Pickers, Raymond Barrio’s use of diction throughout the story displays to the reader the authors purpose and effect. Barrio uses symbols, and breaks in his paragraphs to provide the overall general theme of the story. His does this by telling the story of Manuel, an apricot picker, and the toll that his job has on him. Manuel’s daily life in itself raises the question of what does it mean to be a human being. To Barrio there is no such thing as being human because humans have daily routines that they do over and over again thus creating a machine-like or animal-like being that has no morals and values.
In the beginning of the story Barrio introduces how workers daily life is. Barrio does this by providing breaks in his paragraphs to announce a new time setting. For example he writes “He should have had some salt pills. Midafternoon” (1). Barrio writes other words such as “lunch” and “Ended” to signify the daily routine of the of the apricot workers. The routine of the apricot workers is very repetitive and absurd. There is meaning behind it other than just to do the work like in Myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus’ fate was to push the rock up the mountain only to watch it come down again. So like the workers their days consisted of doing the same thing over and over again. Barrio is repetitive in this to compare the workers to machines. Machines are not human beings and they do not act like humans but machines are in a sense programmed to do one thing like how the workers are programmed to pick apricots everyday.

Raymond Barrio also uses symbols show the meaning of being human. In the first paragraph of the short story, Barrio’s choice of writing has this effect. In the first couple of sentences the characters of the story are introduced. Then soon after that Barrio writes short sentences that later end in one word. For example he writes “There had to be a respite. Animal. …The buckets and crates kept piling up higher. Brute” (1). The words that Barrio uses at the end of every short sentence, “locked, brute, animal, savage”, signify metaphorically the workers. The workers are like animals as they work. By comparing humans to animals Barrio is using that effect to conclude on his theme of what is a human being. Animals are savages and brute and according to Barrio humans are like that sometimes especially in a working environment.
Finally Barrio uses symbols to show what it means to be a human being. These symbols answer the question: What is a name? Barrio cleverly chooses names that compliment his theme. The main character’s and protagonist’s name for example is Manuel. The name Manuel is a pun on the word manual. To be Manual means to operate or function by human skills. So by naming the main character Manuel, Barrio contradicts his original thought of the workers being machine or animal like. By writing this name he wants to show the opposite. The character of Manuel is very valiant and brave. He stands up to Roberto Morales when Morales wants to take some money from each apricot picker. The name Roberto Morales is also another name that Barrio writes for the antagonist. Roberto Morales is “friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute” in Barrio’s eyes. His name is also a pun because Morales could be seen as moral less. Roberto does not have any morals or values. This is shown when he tries to take the workers hard earned money to profit for him self. Barrio does this to show that there are many different kinds of humans. There some like Manuel and some like Morales. Being human has its benefits and its downfalls.
In conclusion in this short story of apricot pickers Barrio does a clever job of describing three types of beings. Barrio writes of an animal, machine and a human with no morals and values. He does this through his diction. Barrio uses symbols and paragraph breaks to show this effect and answer the question: What does it mean to be human? There are many kinds of human beings. Some are brave and valiant like Manuel or there are some like Morales who may seem friendly and polite but are truly despicable, selfish and vicious.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

“Plum Plum Pickers” by Raymond Barrio Explication

It’s hard to say if the average man considers his fellow humans as equal. Often times in the news, magazine, or even on the radio there are stories of people being treated unfairly. In the story “Plum Plum Pickers” by Raymond Barrio an example of this takes place. This example of inequality takes place mostly between two characters but also every other character too. Barrio suggests that all men are not considered or treated equal. Barrio utilizes the setting of the story, tone, words and figurative language to create meaning out of the passage.
The wood choice of the story is always very important and sort of like one of the first things talked about in novels, plays, poems and other works of literature. “Plum Plum Pickers” has a very important setting. “He felt alone. Though surrounded by other pickers… The hot dry air sucking every drop of living moisture form his brute body”(pg. 1, Barrio); through out the whole passage many adjectives are used. The author uses these adjectives describe the setting and the characters. “Beast…Predator…Brute” (pg. 1), is the word used to describe the workers. They create a better picture/understanding for the reader.
The tone changes between the two main characters. When Manuel day is being described the readers get a feeling that he is tired and that it’s been a long hard boring day and it seems like this is a repetitive process but when Morales is being described the reader get a feeling that work for him is fairly easy compared to Manuel’s work load and that. Morales is described as a villain. It’s like a tired sad tone that goes on through out the whole passage. When Morales is talking there is no tired tone. When He talks it's more of cocky tone and this is how he is described, the tone just backs this up.

Danielle S. 5 said...
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Danielle S. 5 said...

In this excerpt of Plum Plum Pickers written by Raymond Barrio there are many contrasting ideals with the plum plum pickers, pertaining to different works of literature, some of which are depicted below.
“The endlessly unending pilling up of bucket upon bucket upon box upon crate upon stack upon rack upon mound upon mountain”.(middle of 2nd paragraph) In this excerpt Raymond Barrio is describing the plum plum pickers job in great depth. The author gives a detailed visual picture of the agonizing task that these pickers must endure on a day to day basis. This passage can be related to The Myth Of Sisyphus, when the Gods condemn Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, “If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn.” (6th paragraph of Myth Of Sisyphus) These two works of literature are related because they involved tragic heroes and their faiths.
“Roberto Morales eyes blazed. His fists clenched. ‘You pick them up Gutierrez’. So. He knew his name. After all. For Answer, Manuel kicked over another bucket, and again the fruit rolled away in all directions. Then an astonishing thing happened. All the pickers moved toward their own buckets still standing beside them on the ground awaiting the truck gathering, and took an ominous position over them, straddling their feet over them. Without looking around without taking his eyes off Manuel, Roberto Morales said sharply. ‘all right. All right, men. I shall take nothing this time.” In this excerpt there is a lesson being taught and that lesion is to Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let people push you around if you feel you are being treated unfairly. In this passage Morales and the rest of the pickers had just finished with a longs days work and the overseeier decided to take it upon himself to give the pickers a hard time by destroying their pickings which meant less money for them. But the pickers took a stand for themselves and kept what was rightfully theirs.
“There had to be a respite Animal. The buckets and the crates keep piling up higher. Brute. He felt alone. Thought surrounded by other pickers. Beast. Thought he was perspiring heavily, his shirt was powder dry. Savage….wreck…..Letting it spill down his torn shirt to cool his exhausted body, to replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig grissel, a truly refined wrench of an animal, pleased to meetcha. Predator”. (1st paragraph) In this excerpt f Plum Plum Pickers, the workers are being compared to animals because of the work their doing resembles animal behavior in the wild. Which the Author did purposely to convey the idea of animal labor.

Diana P5 said...

Diana P5

Plum Plum Pickers

Through Raymond Barrio’s diction, he allows the reader to view Manuel Gutiérrez as a trapped beast; do to his work. Barrio carefully chooses his words to show the conditions in which Manuel is working under. Manuel works under a man named, Reberto Morales, who is completely harsh. He cares nothing about his men that he was hired to manage. The names that Barrio chooses also play a role with the characteristics of the men who they are given too. The words chosen helps the reader so that they can see the symbols portrayed in Plum Plum Pickers.

Raymond Barrio displays Manuel as a man who is trapped by his work. Barrio describes a place where no one would like to work, not only where the conditions hard but Manuel had to work for a man who is indubitably corrupt in his actions. “A ray of enemy sun penetrated the tree that was hiding him and split his forehead open. His mid whirred. He blacked out. Luckily he’d been leaning against a heavy branch. His feet hooked to the ladder’s rung. His half-filled bucket slipped from his grasp and fell in slow motion, splattering the fruit he’d so laboriously picked. To the ground. Reberto happened by and shock his head. ‘Whatasmatter, can’t you see straight, pendejo.’ Manuel was too tired to even curse.” In this passage Manuel passes out do to the heat and the fact he was dehydrated. He ended up cracking his forehead but instead of his supervisor caring about what had just happened, he is more worried about getting Manuel to get back to work. Animals in the wild tend to work pass their limits, he treats all them as if he is the only thing that matters and that their well being doesn’t matter. Barrio named Reberto the supervisor Morales, when reading the last name it reads moral-less. The character role that Morales plays is as you can say without any morels. He doesn’t care about anything besides making him self look good as far as to lie to the employees to get what he wants. “’Now, announced Morales at last, in the friendliest tone. “Now. I must take two cents from every bucket. I am sorry Therre was a miscalculation. Everybody understands. Everbody?” He slid his eyes around, smiling, palms up.” Not only was he forcing the workers to work in such unbearable conditions but now he was going to take out of their hard days’ work as if it was his very own work.

Andrew D 5 said...

andrew d

Plum Plum Pickers

In “The Plum Plum Pickers”, the author Raymond Barrio expresses what it really means to be a human being. He exemplifies what men are built for. Raymond Bario puts Manuel Gutierrez in “an endless maze of apricot trees…row after row…just like the blackest bars on the jails of hell”( 2-4). Manuel is a brute snimalistic slave who performs the same task over and over in the heat. Bario describes the heat from this hell and how nothing can be done about it no matter how much you sweat “perspiring very heavily, his shirt was powder dry. Savage.”( 6-7). Manuel, this man, this brute animal as Bario describes him “drank the holy water in great brute gulps”(9-10) to try to quench his insatiable thirst.
Manuel gets a lunch break and nothing is changing there is still “endless piling up of bucket upon box upon crate upon stack upon rack upon mound upon mountain”(19-20). These animals work endlessly and Bario mentioning the mountain reminds me of Sisyphus and how endless and monotonous his task to roll the rock up the mountain in the heat was.
By midafternoon the “summers fierce zenith passed overhead”(29) or hells heat is causing the tiredness which is “draining his spirit of will. Exhauston drained his mind”(32). This hell is emptying the men of honor, pride, spirit, will power, and intelligence making them animals. After the days work is ended, Bario introduces us to the moral-less Roberto Morales who is a “thieving brute. The worst of his kind. To his own people”(38). He is without pride and dignity, a man with no honor. The worst of all the demons trapped in this hell condemned by these “guerros executives”(45) who don’t “give a shit how that migratory scum lives”(53-54). And the guerros just washed “their clean blond bloodless dirtless hands of the whole matter”(47). Much like Pontious Pilate did after condemning Jesus to die on the cross.
After Morales says to the pickers that he is going to take two cents from every bucket, Manuel “heard himself saying, you promised to take nothing”(65)! Bario sets up this “huge ring of red-ringed eyes”(69) all centered on the two animals aiming for each others jugulars much like a brute animal would do. Manuel clumsily yet intentionally tips over a whole bucket of cots and then something astonishing happened, Morales says “I shall take nothing this time”(82).
Bario makes Manuel the man, the hero, the one who stood up for what he knew was the right thing to do. Manuel “felt a thrill of power course through his nerves”(83). Like a lighting bolt through a metal rod, after all the heat in hell, exhaustion, and loss of will, Manuel has enough defiance in him to make a difference. He has earned the respect from his fellow slaves and “wrenched Morales’ greedy fingers away and removed a fat slug of a purse from his sticky grasp”(90-91). Bario doesn’t make Manuel the protagonist to show what its like being a slave and picking fruit, instead, he proves that “men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride. Or else they are dead before they die.”(96-98). That is what it means to be a human being, to have pride and honor unlike Morales who tortures his own people who are just like him for “an agreed-upon price”(48). Human beings must have morals and experience pride and honor, we must gain respect and show defiance in order to live before we die.

Natalia A5 said...

Natalia a.5

In the passage from the Plum Plum Pickers, the author, Raymond Barrio, uses Manuel, the main character, to show how we should stick up for what we think is right. Barrio uses allusion when naming the protagonist Manuel. Manuel is taken from the name Emmanuel, which is from Spanish origin. This name, in Hebrew, means “with us is God.” Barrio does this to demonstrate how Manuel in the story is representing God, who is the one that will help all the other pickers.
When Barrio introduces Roberto Morales into the passage, he uses words such as “a gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute.”(40) This shows how Roberto is meant to be the guy that is two faced. Roberto comes in smiling and acting nicely to everyone, but what he really wants is their money. Barrio also names this character Roberto Morales for a reason, as he did with Manuel. His second name says it all, ‘Morales.’ If we say it slowly enough, it comes out to sound as if the real word Barrio wanted to write was ‘moral less.’
The main situation that proves how Manuel is the hero that saves the other pickers from Roberto Morales’ greediness is when Morales comes to take two cents from their buckets. Manuel steps out and speaks for him and the others, saying “You promised to take nothing!” (41). Then he kicked the bucket of cots he had picked, showing strength and courage, and making it clear to Morales that he would not take two cents from him or any one else. Manuel, like God, also resembles fairness among all. He gives the others courage to create justice among all of them.

CasieS P5 said...

Block #5

The Plum Plum Pickers Explication

In Raymond Barrio’s “The Plum Plum Pickers”, Barrio suggests that people following the same routine everyday become compared to animals. These humans are conforming and becoming “animal-like”. Animals are portrayed as wild and untamable, with no morals. Animals show no mercy and will do what it takes to stay alive and happy. However everything comes with consequences and any action that these “animals” make will come with a consequence. The main character Manuel suggests that humans should have pride in who they are and what they do. Humans should not be leaning on each other or living off each other but living off themselves and the pride and honor that they create for themselves. The humans that Manuel describes reflects animal like behavior rather than pride and honor.
Manuel suggests that if there is no pride in humans then they will be considered animals. Manuel believes that there should be a “sense of honor and pride” (1) within humans. Animals however can not have a sense of honor and pride and that is something that animals do not have however humans do have. This is a reason for why Manuel feels so strongly about humans sticking up for themselves and their own pride.
Manuel uses quick one word sentences through out the first paragraph. He uses the word “predator” (1) this reflects the morals of the humans that he sees working. A predator is any organism that prays upon another. This shows that the people that Manual sees are portrayed as predator, people who can not live for themselves, people who live off of other people. Once again on the first page on the forth full paragraph Manual suggests that people are cannibals. “Despite his crude, ignorant manner… he was actually the shrewdest, smartest, richest cannibal in forty counties around.” (1). Manual suggests that this person feeds off of other people to survive, that he has no personality, he is just another carbon copy of everyone else.
Ultimately Manuel suggests that if humans do not stand up for themselves and the ideas that they believe in they will pay the consequences, no one else but the person who brought that upon themselves. “He had salvaged his money savagely and he had earned respect from his fellow slaves.” (2). Manuel suggests that the destiny of each person will be retrieved and that if the destiny is avoided then eventually it will come back to them later on in this persons life.

Caitlin H 5 said...
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Caitlin H 5 said...

Caitlin Hennessy
Period 5

The Beast
In Raymond Barrio’s short story, The Plum Plum Pickers, it is suggested that humans as a whole are all beasts in their own right, surviving for the taste of pride that they can one day call their own. This is established through Barrio’s insistent use of words such as beasts, animals, brutes, and savages to describe not only Manuel’s enemies, but also Manuel himself and his fellow apricot pickers. His ending quote of the pride and honor that men fight for, “or else they are dead before they die”, applies to mankind as a whole, as little a difference you seem to make in the world, or as important you may seem to be.
In the first paragraph, Manuel appears to feel trapped in the perfection of the forced masterpieces the pickers are imprisoned to work upon. This is established by the perceived rows and “endless maze of apricot trees” as neat as the “blackest bars on the jails of hell”. He feels “locked” in and trapped”. In his mind, he believes that somehow, some way, there must be a way out. However, “the crates keep building up higher”. This observation leads to his first of short, abrupt labels placed upon what seems to be himself: Animal. He labels himself as something that is not even human, something below that. Something lowly and trapped, and forever below a human’s standards. He calls himself a wreck, and an animal, but he also exclaims “predator”. If one is to believe he is talking about himself, he is frantically moving up the scale of descriptions, from a wreck, to an animal, to a predator. A predator is someone who is forever hunting for something, be it literal food, or the nourishment of something better, the finding of pride and honor. This could all also mean that he is trapped within himself, for holding in all that he believes in.
During lunch, Manuel’s mind whirrs and he experiences a black out as a ray of sun “split his forehead open”. This “ray of enemy sun” appears to be the light of his situation; the truth of everyone’s being animals in their own right, striving for pride, which catches him by surprise, knocking him out. This is suggested by the passerby Roberto’s symbolic question, “whatsamatter, can’t you see straight, pendejo”. This question is a simple comment, but can be perceived as having a deeper double-meaning, as though perhaps inquiring as to whether he’s seeing correctly, as people regularly do, or if he is seeing things (like the animals/beasts trying to attain honor) that other people are not realizing. He drops his bucket of apricots. These apricots seem to symbolize the things that hold him down, the things that stop him from recognizing pride.
When Morales tries to cheat the men out of their full pay, Manuel alone stands up to him, as all the other “animals” watch in horror. He throws his bucket of apricots all over the floor and his inner beast comes out, as he refuses to let Morales do so. His standing up to Morales seems to signify that, upon letting himself do something honorable and being too proud to let someone take advantage of him, he has finally found his sense of being. He has found what it is to do an honorable act and feel proud of himself.
In conclusion, Barrio suggests that men, of all types and statuses, are beasts that strive for pride and honor. He does this through jagged and incessant exclamations of such words as beast, animal, brute, and savage. It is established that we are all savage inside and sometimes must let show in order to know pride, as in this story, where you need to find the strength to stand up for yourself and do what is right. Man must feel honor or pride, “or else they are dead before they die”.

William C5 said...

A Life of Importance
In the excerpt from “The Plum Plum Pickers,” by Raymond Barrio, Barrio suggests that humans can find purpose, meaning, and importance in their lives regardless of how purposeless, meaningless, and insignificant their lives truly are. He demonstrates this through short, metaphorical phrases and repetition along with masterful writing in the dismal workday of Manuel as his purposeless life transitions into a life containing pride and meaning.
Barrio begins his story by describing the workday of an unnamed worker picking apricots “in an endless maze … as though forever”(40). He portrays the worker to live a monotonous life of manual labor, as he searches for “a way out”(40) of his situation only to feel “locked”(40) in. Barrio describes the environment to be “the blackest bars on the jails of hell”(40) where the worker repeats “the endlessly unending piling up of bucket upon box upon crate upon stack upon rack upon mound upon mountain”(40). The worker’s means of work are purposeless and meaningless, as they seem to have no meaning or end. As a result of the worker’s lifestyle, he metaphorically becomes an “Animal … Brute … Beast … Savage … Predator … automator”(40). Barrio describes the worker with one worded sentences indicating that he is a mere animal without mention of his name to signify the lack of importance, meaning, and purpose contained in his life.
The worker does not gain purpose and meaning in his life until the latter of the excerpt. After introducing the worker as Manuel, Barrio describes a life altering event as the “crew chief”(40), Roberto Morales, demands “two cents from every [worker’s] bucket”(41). Only when Manuel “lifted his foot and clumsily tipped over his own last bucket of cots”(41), and kick more over as Roberto tells him to “pick them up”(41), does he “fe[el] a thrill of power course through his nerves”(41). The other workers, inspired by Manuel’s actions, join him in protest and take “an ominous position over”(41) their own cots, causing the loser of the conflict, Roberto, to “take [no money] this time”(41).
With his newfound acclaimed victory “exerpienc[ing] a certain sense of honor and pride”(41), Manuel “ma[kes] an extravagant discovery”(41) comparable to Don Gaspar “two centuries before”(41), that his life “counted for something”(41). He stands up for lifestyle, regardless of how purposeless and meaningless it is, and by doing so, ironically achieves a life full of purpose and meaning, along with honor and pride.

Kenneth M5 said...

Slow down Mr.Barrio

Raymond Barrio is a master of phrasing and allusion. He uses this to suggest that the meaning in life comes from having dignity in what you do. You have to live for your own dignity in order to be a real person. Sometimes, it may take doing something that isn’t normally nice, but in the end if it brings good into the world it is worth it.

The first paragraph is phrases very interestingly. It using very choppy and robotic sentences. Sometimes there are even one word sentences. Barrio is using this to mirror the workers he is describing. They are working not as people, but autonomous robots like the workers. He may be suggesting that the reader may also be turning into a robot by making them talk like one. The phrasing is meant to suggest the nature of the worker, in their robotic state, braking the flow of the paragraph with one word sentences.

The one word sentences show a progression that the workers are going through. The workers all started off entering their jobs to provide for their families. They become “trapped” (1) in doing this work because they need to keep their families going. They lose a sense of what makes them human and living only to survive another day like an “animal”(1). They begin to get physically stronger, but lose their thinking from lack of use, and become a “brute”(1). They keep getting more brute like until they have no needs other than the core human needs and become a “beast”(1) form of what they once were. They become “savage”(1) and lose every trace of humanity until they “wreck”(1). They keeping living as a wreck until they become a “predator”(1) because that is the only life they’ve known. They were always treated a certain way so they pass on. The one word sentences suggest the growth of an animal doing the work, not a man.

The next paragraph moves up to two word sentences as the new minimum, but only with “the”(1)’s or “a”(1)’s . This is also used to mirror the workers, but this time Emmanuel more specify. The sentence structure grew and evolved just as Emmanuel as a character does. He is begins his first act of rebellion, even if it was an accident, when he “blacked out”(1). These two simple word sentences mirrors Emmanuel’s growth into a person.

The second paragraph also suggests that the work Emmanuel and the other pickers are doing is seemingly point less and “endless”(1). Sisyphus was a man who endlessly pushed a rock up a mountain. Emmanuel also had endless work that grow into a “mountain”(1). Barrio may be suggesting that the lack of dignity in Emmanuel’s work leads him to do an “endless”(1) unimportant job.

Again there is a build up of phrases in the third paragraph. There are still two word sentences, but the simple words are replaced with more descriptive language. The language also moves to a higher level using words like “zenith”(1). The maturity behind the writing grew as each paragraphed shifted.

One of the following lines mentions a convenient character name, and lead to another convenience in names. The antagonist Robert Morales is finally mentioned by name. His name suggest that he is moral less, by only repeating the last letter. This may lead one to look at Emanuel’s name. He has been demoralized to be only used as manual labor, which sounds like Emanuel.

These facts may lead one to think that Barrio is trying to tell us that “men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride”(2), which Barrio literally says at the end of this passage. The aforementioned devices further this point the Barrio was trying to tell us. For a person to be a person they must have pride and dignity