Beanfield War

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  • Topic: Pacheco State Park, The Milagro Beanfield War
  • Pages : 5 (1513 words )
  • Download(s) : 17
  • Published : December 11, 2012
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Family

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The book begins by explaining who Amarante Cordova is, and what his life has been like, to set the background of one of the main characters. Armarante and his wife, Elizabeth, had thirteen children, Nadia, Jorge, Polito, Maria Ana, Berta, Roberto, Billy, Nazario, Gabriel, Ricardo, Sally, Patsy, and Cipriano. Elizabeth made her way to the rim of the gorge, ravens circling high in the sky (image 1). As time went on many of Amarante’s children passed away, he was out lasting many of his children, and even at his old age, was in much better health than most of his children that were alive. Sensing that he may be dying, one of Amarante’s daughters sent a letter to all of the other sons and daughters saying that they should come and say their final goodbyes this Christmas. Many wrote back saying things like, “NO! I just came for Mama’s funeral!” (John Nichols, 1974) and “What is Papa trying to do to us all? I’m no spring chicken, Sally. I got a heart condition. I’m blind in one eye. I got bursitis so bad in one shoulder I cant lift my hand above my waist. And I’ve got diabetes!” (John Nichols, 1974). Only a few showed up, and at Christmas dinner a death occurred, but it wasn’t Amarante, it was Jorge, who had a heart attack.

Next we are introduced to another main character, learn more about the situation at hand, and find out more about Amarante’s background. Joe Mondragon, a thirty-six year old man is introduced, as the main player in the upcoming events. We learn background information about Joe and the situation at hand. Milagro used to thrive through sheep herding and crops, but after the war much of their land and irrigation rights were taken away by the treaty, big corporations, and the national park bill. All these things build up on the town of Milagro causing the west side of town to become a ghost town, which is where Joe and Amarante are the only residences. Joe is a master of all trades, he could fix anything and do anything, he even built his own adobe house. His house was surrounded by junk, engines, motor parts, wiring, and tractor innards. (image 2)

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Amarante (John Nichols, 1974)
Amarante (John Nichols, 1974)
“That’s the trouble with this younger generation…They don’t give a damn about anything important anymore.” “That’s the trouble with this younger generation…They don’t give a damn about anything important anymore.”

Trouble
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Joe was always getting into trouble with the law, being sent to jail on many occasions and was frequently beat by the sheriff. Joe always caused a scene, and when big corporate wanted to make a dam and take even more water away from crops, this sent Joe over the breaking point. Joe went to a field owned by his father where crop irrigation was band. The water and dam were property of Ladd Devine Company; they were causing the problems for the town, with water shortages and bad business with livestock. Joe allowed the river water to run through his land irrigating his bean field (image 3). This did not sit well with the higher ups of the town and the Ladd Devine Company. Many of them were afraid that what Joe was doing would lead to a revolution among the town’s people, and everyone would follow in his footsteps. They all had a meeting trying to decide how to approach this situation, many of them just wanted to arrest Joe, but those closest to Joe said that he would just continue after he had served his jail time. They also debated on if they should just kill him, but that was rejected because they did not want him to become a martyr and have the townsfolk revolt. Needless to say they had a tough situation on their hands.

Amarante is then introduced into this situation, he awakes one morning in his adobe house, it is described with being windowless with many of the rooms having been caved in. Each morning he would go outside and sit on a white stump and watch the sun...
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