Essay Summary Of ' Letters From An American Farmer '

Essay Summary Of ' Letters From An American Farmer '

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In the late 1700’s, Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur in his “Letters from an American Farmer” wrote letters to Europeans enticing them to come to America which he described as a land of opportunity with a generous government. In particular, he painted a rosy picture in America for laborers whom, he said, would be well taken care of by their employers and paid well. However, a study of farm laborers in America from the 1930’s to the present reveals farm workers’ difficulties in achieving Crevecoeur’s promise.
As seen during The Grapes of Wrath film many farm owners who were promised a generous government and land of opportunity by Crevecoeur began to realize such false accusations after being stripped of the land they once owned. The Joad family who had once lived on such lands for years were obligated to migrate west in search of promised farm labor in California. The family vigorously headed west because of the guaranteed labor and proper wages which were ensured on a flyer looking for eight hundred pickers. Once the Joad family arrived to California they soon realized there wasn’t much opportunity due to overpopulation of other farm laborers in search of work. The family had no choice but to settle for any sort of work that was available which included dishonest wages.
Thirty years later in the 1960’s, Cesar Chavez gives a speech of the ongoing conditions farm workers are still facing. During his speech Chavez speaks of a tragic automobile accident involving thirty-two unknown bracero farm workers who hid in the flatbed of an unsafe truck after illegally crossing the US/Mexican border near Salinas, CA. Crevecoeur’s promise of being well taken care of by your employer was broken once again after several of the farm workers lost th...


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... which occurred 80 plus years ago.
During a brief interview with my father who had worked as a farm laborer for an average of three months mentioned it being the most difficult job he had ever participated in. He specified it being difficult because of the early morning shifts and lack of rest he received after working fifty hours weekly. He was always paid on the time of expectancy and the appropriate amount. Besides the difficult labor his experience as a farm worker was great because of the close relationships he was able to develop with his co-workers and supervisors.
Crevecoeur’s promise of America as a land of opportunity seems to not have been as promising as it seemed. Although there has been many Americans who have reached their dreams, the same cannot be said for farm workers in America. Evidently the American Dream is not accessible through farm labor.

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