When Hope Dies in Tomas Rivera in and the Earth Did Not Devour Him

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Tomas Rivera in “…And the Earth Did Not Devour Him…” depicts the harsh life migrant workers and their families endure to make a living. Extreme poverty and squalid working conditions debilitated the migrant physically, morally, and spiritually. Perseverance is shown throughout this story demonstrating the strength of character the migrants had in facing their turmoil’s. Rivera, depicts a troubled boy questioning his life and lamenting the plight he and his family live. Peace is given to the young man when he accepts his life. Through the use of conflict and symbolism, Rivera demonstrates the hardships faced by migrant workers, and the courage to endure injustice in exchange for a chance to prosper financially. External conflict in Rivera’s story is what brings about the plight this boy lives through. As the boy tells his mother, “Either the germs eat us alive or the sun burns us up. Always some kind of sickness”(Rivera 109).As a migrant worker, the boy and those like him, had to toil and live in unsanitary conditions and under harsh elements in the field for 12 hour shifts These conditions often brought grave illness or death to the migrants. Another factor that added to the migrant’s unsavory working conditions was the lack of consideration given to them by their bosses. In the story, the mother tells the boy and his siblings, “Don’t pay any mind to that boss if he tries to rush you. Just don’t do it. He thinks it’s so easy since he’s not the one who’s out there stooped”

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