Devils Highway Summary Essay

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The Devils Highway
By Luis Urrea

The book The Devil’s Highway by Luis Urrea is based on a true story.

It tells the tragic story of a group of Mexican immigrants who try to cross

the U.S border. Although many Mexicans have died in the desert trying to

cross the border previously with this particular story is unique in that it was

such a large group that traveled and so many of them died. The title of the

book “Devils Highway” is the name of the part of the desert these men

crossed which is known to be one of the most “deadliest regions on the

continent” and has claimed the lives of many. (Urrea) In 1950 a man known

as Francisco Salazar wrote that Devils Highway “….was a vast graveyard of

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What the men didn’t know was that this

was a new route and this was only the second time that Mendez had taken it.

Many were getting captures as the Border Control caught on to their other

routes forcing the ring to switch .The book vividly describes the torment

they went through physically and mentally. The author describes the six

stages of heat death in which all of these men experienced as the trudged

though the killing desert heat. The book expresses the men’s anger, betrayal

and desperation that felt.

I am strongly against illegal immigrants entering this country as I

feel it’s a big problem in our country. Especially the way I see they abuse

the Welfare system at the expense of our tax dollars. However after reading

this book I can’t help but empathize with these men and their families. You

can give them nothing but respect once you know and understand what these

men endured. We as Americans sometimes take for granted the economic

strength our country has so how can we really blame them for wanting to

come to our country. The book is written with compassion and emotion.

The author Luis Alberto Urrea is a creative writing teacher at the

University of Illinois at Chicago and lives outside Chicago. He is the author

of Across the Wire and By The lake of Sleeping Children. He has received

many awards for his work such as the American
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