classnotes-4-3 - WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN Julia loses the...

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WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN Julia loses the baby o The doctor tells her to get milk, so she goes to Mrs. Brennermann’s to get some o Theme of greed—the Brennermanns have money and food, but still turn Julia and the children out into the storm—breakdown of neighborly relations o Every person for him or herself in this case, but after Julia loses the child, everybody in the town comes together (except the Brennermanns) to help her by doing whatever they can o Rain storm causes this—a force of nature causes the problem (rather than a car, etc.), can’t be stopped just like the dust storms o The farmers are at the mercy of these natural forces, but human actions contribute to those natural problems o Why does Mrs. Brennermann act as she does? o The Brennermanns is successful—Mr. Brennermann is on the board of the bank, they have irrigation, they have plenty of food o The banks, people like the Brennermanns, etc., aren’t willing to help people in need When Flanery kills himself, the farmers lose one of their biggest allies, putting them in a precarious position Flanery’s suicide is juxtaposed with Mrs. Starwood’s confrontation at the bank—the bank who is unsympathetic vs Flanery who was Reasons for moving to California o They can’t survive anymore in Oklahoma, they need new opportunities to work for their survival The Dunnes work in California as farm laborers Farming in California was very commercialized and dominated by large companies Distinctions between farming in Oklahoma: o Farming is done en masse so it gets done faster o The companies who own these huge fields rely on migrant farm workers to work their farm o Migrant farm workers go where they are needed, moving from farm to farm and following the crops Factories in the Field (1939) o Describes what farming is like in California o Owners of the farms treated the farms like factories, a system of agricultural production similar to industrial manufacturing California farm owners o Ex: Hayes and Berkeley o Railroad companies, oil companies, banks, land companies o Ownership wasn’t in the hands of people we would think of as farmers Methods of Controlling farm labor
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o Owner of cotton plantation requires the workers to live in shacks on company land, and for each shack, a family must harvest a certain amount of cotton per day, and they had to pay for electricity o Workers were sometimes given scrips to be used at stores, but stores had monopolies anyways because of distance, so high prices could be charged o Farm owners would hire spies to pose as workers and make sure workers weren’t forming unions, or if they did, what the unions would do
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 118 taught by Professor Strathman during the Spring '08 term at San Diego.

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classnotes-4-3 - WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN Julia loses the...

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