John Steinbeck's Migrant Workers And Why They Were Misfits

900 Words 4 Pages
Migrant Workers and Why they were Misfits

John Steinbeck 1937 novel Of Mice and Men captured what it was like to be a migrant worker after the dust bowl. In the novel, when the two main characters, George and Lennie, first were hired at a farm they were not exactly happy about their living conditions for the farming season but they said its better than nothing. Like real life, migrant workers in California in the 1930’s did not have good houses, most of the houses were smaller than your average bathroom. Migrant workers had awful living conditions, especially their sleeping conditions, some had a cloth for a bed. This made them feel like misfits or not belonging because they didn’t have the same houses as others.
…show more content…
As the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences says, “The local communities shunned the migrant workers because of how they looked” (Migrant Labor). This article states that the local communities shunned migrants because of how they looked. The author says they looked tired and dirty, this is most likely from the fact that they sleep on a cloth or piece of wood. Along with bad sleeping conditions they also didn’t get much sleep according to the article “Migratory Workers”, “Migrants worked more than 15 hours a day on any given day at any given time” (Mapes). Migrants worked so much they didn’t get lots of sleep and the sleep they did get was not the best because of what they slept on. Migrant workers were made to feel like they didn’t belong or misfits in society because they worked a lot and didn’t get lots of sleep and when they did it was not good sleep. So, they then would be tired and not as clean or well rested like non migrant workers thus them not fitting …show more content…
The article “Migratory Workers” shows how they slept by stating the following, “In Migrant camps there tended to be multiple families per house, and when it came time to sleep there would be three-four kids per “bed” and then parents had their own” (Mapes). Sleeping with multiple people made it hard to sleep due to the sounds and heat when it was hot outside. Since the kids and parents usually slept in the same room it came in handy when winter hit because they were in close quarters already so they could stay warm easier. If a family had a one room house or a tent the kids and parents normally slept on the same bed. The 2nd article of The Harvest Gypsies explains how they were arranged “Mother and father lie down together and two children lie between them. Then, heading the other way, the other two children lie, the littler ones” (Steinbeck 9). Since they had one room or a tent they had to be creative in how they slept but when others saw this it made the migrant workers stand out and the others thought it was weird for the whole family to sleep like that and it made them not fit in, belong or be misfits because of how they slept with what room they

Related Documents