Plum Plum Pickers
In “Plum Plum Pickers”, Raymond Barrio suggests that sometimes life may be difficult but humans can survive even if it means working in undesirable conditions. He reveals this by showing how brutal life can be. Barrio shows this through Manuel, the plantation worker. He has to fight to stay alive because if he doesn’t he will die. Raymond Barrio establishes the setting on a plantation with intense heat and terrible conditions.
When Raymond Barrio compares the plantation to a jail he describes the trees as being “lonely isles …. Looking like bars, just like the blackest bars of hell” (91). Manuel has to deal with this every day, no matter how many times he picks it’s still all the same and faces the same feeling of loneliness. When Barrio makes an allusion about the blackest bars of hell he relates this to what Manuel has to go through because picking is just like being tortured in hell, this also goes even further and relates to how he lives on the plantation.
Also Raymond Barrio places individual words between the sentences such as “trapped”, “locked”, “brute” and “beast” (92). Barrio does this to symbolize the many emotions Manuel deals with everyday. Also it shows the reader that Manuel has to persevere or be held back by his emotions. Raymond Barrio uses Manuel to represent the Mexican pickers, how if they couldn’t work they would die because you have to work to stay alive it doesn’t come free.
“Air sucking every drop of living moisture from his brute body” (92), it shows that’s he is loosing what he needs to survive but even then he still preservers. Also when he says “sucking” he means that his life is being sucked away because all he can do is work. Then when the author says “living moisture” he is relating it to Manuel’s soul and body. Barrio describes Manuel as being “brute” which makes the reader believe that he plays a big role in the story.
The author establishes the point of having to do whatever it takes to stay alive by giving us the courage to stand up and demand what they want. We see this when the Mexican admin wanted to take two cents from each pickers basket. But Manuel stood up to Morales and knocked over two baskets to prove he wasn’t going down without a fight. But after they were about to fight he let them keep there two cents. Like the author suggests do what it takes to stay alive, so he stood up and got the money that he worked hard for.
In conclusion Raymond Barrio’s importance fits perfectly with the text and what is going on within the story. Also you can take the situation they where in and relates it to what they had to go through. Also this makes you respect others because everyone is just trying to survive.