Historical background[ edit ] Outskirts of Salinas, California.
Historical background[ edit ] Outskirts of Salinas, California. Rapidly growing settlement of lettuce workers. Family from Oklahoma settling in makeshift dwelling - Dorothea Lange From todrought and soil erosion across the Midwestern and Southern Plains created one of the lasting images of the Great Depression: The number of emigrants was equal to more than twenty percent of the total population of California at the time.
Resultant of these conditions were the worker camps, labor strife, and horrific living arrangements described by Steinbeck in The Harvest Gypsies. Steinbeck, a California native himself, sought to capture these new developments and their impact on California culture. Many of these reports were drafted by Sanora Babbwho worked for Collins and made notes in her journal each night about the Dust Bowl refugees she'd met.
Collins compiled these extensive interviews that contained residents' stories, songs, and folklore into a compendium which he shared with Steinbeck, who used it and his own notes to write The Harvest Gypsies.
Steinbeck did not initiate the re-publishing of the series. Byhe had moved on to writing The Grapes of Wrath full-time and had to be persuaded by Hosmer to get involved in reissuing the series. Hosmer had worked as a researcher for the Farm Security Administration in the mid s, where she met Dorothea Lange and economist Paul Taylor.
She met Steinbeck in that period and supplied him with data files she had collected for the Farm Security Administration. Lubin Society to advocate on behalf of workers.
Hosmer printed a first order of pamphlets and sold them for 25 cents, the proceeds of which went to the Simon J. Steinbeck did not receive any money from the project.
Demand quickly exceeded the first print run and the pamphlet became a valued commodity. California requires a large influx of migrant workers during the harvestwhich occurs at different times for different crops. Those who hire the migrants encourage their immigration so much that "twice as much labor as was necessary" was present, and wages were kept low.
They want nothing more, Steinbeck asserts, than to become economically self-sufficient again: Photo by Dorothea Lange of a migrant family in Kern County. The "new migrant worker" Steinbeck discusses is that who comes with his family.
They came from "the agricultural populations of OklahomaNebraskaand parts of Kansas and Texas" most affected by the Dust Bowl.
Thus, Steinbeck urges his readers to be prepared to "work out the problem to their benefit as well as ours. Fixated on the living conditions of the camps, Steinbeck ruminates on the dirt that pervaded them, the sanitary conditions of those who lived in them, and the precariousness of their long-term futures.
Steinbeck pays great attention to highlight how the Depression has impacted the families in the squatter camps by tracing their economic degeneration, and the intense precision and consistency that their agricultural work demands.Steinbeck’s The Harvest Gypsies March 1, A family from Oklahoma outside a makeshift dwelling in a growing settlement of lettuce workers on the outskirts of Salinas, California.
The Harvest Gypsies, by John Steinbeck Essay Words 7 Pages A major drought, over-cultivation, and a country suffering from one of the greatest depressions in history are all it took to displace hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners and send them, and everything they had, out west.
The Harvest Gypsies () is a collection of seven newspaper articles John Steinbeck was commissioned to write for the San Francisco News, which were published consecutively from October 5 Full description/5(10).
The first article introduces the background of the migrants, or the "new gypsies" as Steinbeck calls them, for the purpose of establishing their histories and way of life (19).
Steinbeck explains the migrants are constantly kept on the move as they must follow the crops ready for harvest up and down the state. THE HARVEST GYPSIES John Steinbeck Seven articles originally published in the San Francisco News, October , reformatted This file is not to be sold.
Nov 21, · The Harvest Gypsies gives us an eyewitness account of the horrendous Dust Bowl migration, a major event in California history, and provides the factual foundation for Steinbeck’s masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath.
Included are twenty-two photographs by Dorothea Lange and others, many of which accompanied Steinbeck’s original articles.