In “Plum Plum Pickers”, Raymond Barrio suggests that if people labor hard in poor conditions and work the hardest they can, that it is painful when something is taken away from them. For example, Manuel worked hard for his boss Roberto Morales and Roberto was going to take two cents away from each worker. Then Manuel stood up to Roberto about not taking any money away. Roberto said he won't take it this time and Manuel came through for his fellow workers. Barrio creates this message by showing Manuel being strong for himself and others.
In the first part of this story, Barrio describes what the setting looks like. He writes about how the “apricot trees” are lined up and resemble “the black bars on the jails of hell . . . with no way out” (91). The work of picking apricots continues to pile up. “He picked a mountain of cots automatically”(92). Manuel is being described as a “beast” because of how many apricots he picked. Manuel is sweating heavily because of the heating conditions and he is thirsting for a drink of water. He needed to replenish himself so he poured water on himself to cool his entire body. This shows that Manuel is trying to stay cool and to continue working. This symbolizes Manuel’s strength by working hard in poor conditions and he constantly works hard while trying to stay cool.
In the next chunk through the use of word choice, the author describes Manuel by comparisons. For example, he compares himself to a beast because he endlessly stacked buckets of apricots one after another. Another example is the description of his spirit to a thirsty sponge in water. He is so hot from the heat and he is dehydrated. Also, being tired drained his will and his mind. This shows that Manuel is a hard worker because he stacked a lot of buckets of apricots on a hot day.
In the next chunk through word choice, the author describes Roberto as a "superior man, no one likes him, and he has no morals. “He was a thieving brute and a clever criminal"(92). Roberto was once a worker in the field as well. So, he should know exactly how the workers feel. He made the workers angry for the way he treated them.
In the next chunk through word choice the author show Manuel and Roberto having a conflict. Roberto wants to take 2 cents from every bucket filled and he says sorry to them. Manuel tripped over his bucket of cots and they rolled away in all directions around everyone's feet. Roberto told him to pick them up and then the other workers were about to knock their buckets over as well to side with Manuel in protest of Roberto taking money from them. Roberto told the workers he wouldn't take anything this time, because he was out numbered and didn't want to lose money by losing cots.
In the last chunk through word choice the author describes Manuel's braveness. Manuel never won anything before. He felt a thrill of power by standing up for himself. He had gone up against Roberto and won. Manuel got back the money and got much respect from his fellow workers. Manuel then realized he and others count for something. Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride or else they are dead before they die. Manuel worked hard and for that, he got what he wanted.
In Plum Plum Pickers, Raymond Barrio suggests if people labor hard in poor conditions and work the hardest they can, if someone is going to take something away from others, fight hard for what you believe in, so nothing is taken away. Raymond Barrio shows through Manuel how this becomes possible when he stands up to Roberto and gets what he wants in the end.
In the end after reading Plum Plum Pickers there is one important line from the piece. Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride. Or else they are dead before they die. This line is important because Manuel stuck up for himself and the other workers and he got what he wanted.In the end, the author's purpose through Manuel shows that hard working and sticking up pays off. Also, one big idea of the piece is to have honor and pride. The other big idea of the piece is to believe in what people do.
The narrator Raymond Barrio has an attitude towards his subject. His attitude is that he describes the working conditions as horrible by the words he uses such as being locked and trapped in the rows of trees. They were worked like animals and were treated poorly. the effect of the text shows that conditions were poor and the workers worked hard in the severe heat to pick apricots.
There are objects in the piece that have great meaning such as the apricot tress and how they are lined up, and the bucket of apricots. The effect of the text shows the apricot trees are lined up like jails of hell and the buckets of apricots Manuel kicked over because he was mad about paying.
There is imagery in the piece that the author is trying to convey. They are "maze of trees” (91), “spirit swell like a thirsty sponge in water” (92), and the endlessly unending piling up of bucket upon box upon crate upon rack upon mound upon mountain." The effect of the text is the maze of trees visualizes what the work field looks like. The spirit swell like a thirsty sponge in water shows that he Manuel is exhausted and dehydrated from the heat. Finally, the endlessly piling up of buckets shows how hard Manuel is working and how many apricots he has to pick.
There are figures of speech in the piece that are important. They are "Endless maze of apricot trees just like the blackest bars on the jails of hell"(92). "spirit swells like a thirsty sponge in water"(92), and “worked them like animals and treated them poorly”(92). The effect of the text is the endless maze of apricots is compared to the blackest bars on the jails of hell. A spirit swells is compared to a thirsty sponge in water. Finally, worked them is compared to animals and treating them poorly.