In the book Arax explores the diversity of people and the agriculture of the central valley, for instance in the chapter “The Last Valley” Arax falls upon the Lam family whom he befriends and grows a close relationship with Tai Lam who falls short of his families expectations. He then goes into writing and following up on the farming industry throughout the central valley. Following the theme of agriculture we meet Hilario an immigrant grape field worker and his family, in the chapter “The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman.” This chapter talks about the conditions and pay of an immigrant field worker, how many have died and suffered just trying to support their families and what they go through to give them a better life in America.
Next Arax venture’s into northern California, here he explorer’s the marijuana production that supplies most of California both medically and recreationally; and economically supports Humboldt County. He compares the differences between the modern industrial weed grower who is looking to make millions and the post 80’s hippies who view marijuana as a sacred element from nature. Another chapter focusing on the p...
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...ing it easy to the simple beauty that he states.
In ways that Arax makes a person see that California isn’t all sunshine and smiles is the way he makes you feel. When describing the immigrant workers in “The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman” Arax makes you feel for them. Letting you into their reality and what it takes to survive it makes you realize that hard work sometimes doesn’t pay off. He states “They came off the fields with every reason to hang their heads. The distance from family, the debt of their journey, the shame of their wages, the smell of their labor…every reason to be defeated except one. They were coming back the next day to do it over again…they walked like conquerors of the field.” A clear quick view into their lives and how their pride is shambled, and even though it still isn’t enough they will continue because it is better than nothing.
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