Saturday, August 01, 2009

In Dubious Battle

I continue to read 'In Dubious Battle' and almost every page is delightful. Steinbeck has captured the spirit of the worker perfectly. The struggle between the worker and the bosses is the struggle of this book. The bosses need their apples picked and they only have a certain number of weeks the bosses have reduced the wages and the workers have gone on strike.

Almost every page has something to quote. The plight of the worker, the plight of those who try to help, to improve things is captured in this small quote at the end of ch 8. The person talking here is mac, the hardened communist, down to cause trouble, he is talking to Jim, his newest recruit. Makes you wonder why we do anything:

"Everybody hates us; our own side and the enemy. And if we won, Jim, if we put it over, our own side would kill us. I wonder why we do it. Oh, go to sleep!"

Even now, after 50 years we still have traveling workers, workers who get paid the lowest wages, Mexicans for examplewho travel into US to do the agricultural work.


Igneos said...

Luckyjumper, I hit the wrong button, here is your post

luckyjumper has left a new comment on your post "In Dubious Battle":

Just finished In Dubious Battle and the quote that you reference ironically is the only one I marked while reading it.

It is a powerful statement I think on the leap folks make when they try and exact change--and the cost expected of them for trying.


Igneos said...


I don't think too many people have been concerned with the idea of too few jobs for too many people for a long time. The mexicans came in without a complaint to pick the apples without any complaint. But things are starting to get serious now and the book made me seriously re-think my opinions on unions and strikes.

Good for Steinbeck!