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Quotes

Quote #4

"Señor, does it not bother you that some of your compadres live better than others?" yelled one of Marta's friends. "We are going to strike in two weeks. At the peak of the cotton. For higher wages and better housing!" (8.60)

The strikers are smart cookies: they time their protests so that they'll happen just when the farmers need workers the most. What effect are they hoping to have?

Quote #5

"They only get seven cents a pound for picking cotton. They want ten cents a pound. It seems like such a small price to pay, but in the past, the growers said no." (8.71)

Think about it: all this hubbub over three measly cents. We know it's 1930, but that's still nothing. It goes to show you how poor these workers really were—those three cents made an absolute world of difference.

Quote #6

"And now, more people are coming to the valley to look for work, especially from places like Oklahoma, where there is little work, little rain, and little hope. If the Mexicans strike, the big farms will simply hire others. Then what would we do?" (8.71)

Josefina explains the real danger of speaking up about the terrible working conditions on the farms. If the workers stick up for themselves, it's likely that they'll lose their jobs. There are so many people desperate for a job that the farmers will have no difficulty in finding new workers.

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