A So-Called Vacation begins with a father’s plan to take

Рубрика: Articles. Автор: admin. Вторник 22 Ноя 2011 в 3:07 дп

A So-Called Vacation begins with a father’s plan to take his two teenage sons, daughter, and wife to California for the summer to stay with relatives and work as migrant laborers. Besides hoping to earn extra money for home improvements, the father wants his children to experience firsthand the realities of migrant farming, realities he experienced as a young adult. The family lives in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where the father struggles to make ends meet as a car mechanic. The two sons, Gabriel and Gustavo, are both central characters who have just finished the school year and are horrified by their father’s scheme. They finally agree to abide by his plan when promised a trip to Disneyland after a summer of hard work. The family makes the long trip to California by car and arrives at a migrant camp Tag Heuer Carrera Replica surrounded by strawberry fields. The crew boss, Don Pilo, assigns them a dilapidated shack with no electricity and tells them to begin work immediately. Within their first day in the fields, the boys are astonished by the back-breaking intensity and relentlessness of the work, and by how little they are compensated. They spend the first weeks trying to hide the fact they are novice pickers and trying to emulate the Borrado brothers, who are the most productive and competitive of the workers in the camp. They quickly befriend Victor, who is their age and a seasoned worker. Victor serves as Gabriel and Gustavo’s guide and introduces them to the ins and outs of the camp. Throughout the summer, many of the brothers’ preconceived notions about migrant labor are completely shattered. For example, they are surprised to learn that many of the migrants in the camp speak English fluently and are not undocumented workers; instead, they are native-born Mexican Americans like themselves. The brothers are also surprised when confronted with blatant racism from Hispanic and white business owners. They are not allowed to swim at the local pool, and they are followed like shoplifters when frequenting a neighborhood store because they are assumed to be recent immigrants or undocumented workers. Over time, Gabriel and Gustavo are also surprised when they begin to appreciate their work in the fields and feeling surrounded by the sights and sounds of the countryside: [Gabriel] added how different life at camp was from the one back home, where he frittered away his summers inside the house, like cabin fever in reverse… Here each day felt different, despite the tedious field work. An early morning might begin with a huge flock of birds rushing out from the bushes, so that afterward every boom box was shut off, hoping to witness a second and sudden whoosh, (p. 139) This book provides a lens into the world of migrant labor and addresses timely political Omega Replica Watches issues such as immigration and racism. It is a coming-of-age story that takes the reader through the brothers’ transformation as they begin as outsiders in the camp and become productive and accepted members within their new community. A main tension that exists in the storyline is that the family chooses to live and work at the migrant camp for the summer to earn extra money and have a new experience, whereas many of the other migrant workers have no other options and do not have another means of survival. A So-Called Vacation is full of rich dialogue, powerful family connections, and close friendships. It is recommended for young adult readers under 16. Gonzalez has written two previous novels, Rainbow’s End (1988) and The Quixote Cult (1988), as well as a collection of stories, Only Sons (1991). In all of his works, Gonzalez draws from his experience growing up along the Texas


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