Grapes Of Wrath/Dont Be Afraid Gringo

1109 Words5 Pages
The economy serves as a guideline for daily living. Where we stand financially in society affects our decisions, perceptions, and how we interact with one another. The lower we are in class limits the amount of accessible resources, creating a more difficult struggle to live a happy and stable life. John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” and Medea Benjamin’s “Don’t Be Afraid Gringo,” illustrate how the financial struggles of the members of the poor class due to a lack of employment, education, and health benefits result in hardships, conflict, and drama. Ironically, it is these negative life experiences that ultimately engage readers, making the two stories thrilling page turners. Both Elvia Alvarado and the Joad family live in a place where work is difficult to find and money is a daily issue. Located in the slums of Central America, Comayagua, Honduras houses thousands of impoverished peasants, also known as campesinos, one of whom is Elvia. Deserted by her mother at a very young age, Elvia learns first hand the meaning of independence and hard work. She must figure out by herself how to obtain food, clothing, and shelter; yet this is extremely common within young campesinos for they are often found to be homeless and malnourished. Many Honduran women adjust their lives according to the wishes of a man by working in the home, and tending to their every need. They are viewed as inferior to men and have more difficulty finding a source of income. With no money and her academic knowledge only stretching as far as the second grade, Elvia lacks the basic resources necessary to obtain a financially stable life. Unaware of the physical natural process of young females and the ideas of contraception, Elvia becomes pregnant at the age of 15 and must find a way to provide a life for her and her unborn child. The Joads, a low class family from Oklahoma, endure the
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