Sunday, March 30, 2008

Explicating Plum Plum Pickers

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 Mid afternoon 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 Mid afternoon 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.

No comments: