Introduction.

From the books, it is clear that in the American West there was conflict that was ethnic and race based. The way one lived acted was because of one’s race or ethnic background.

 

Race

The lifestyle of the Anglo-Americans and the black Americans were very different. Although they were both poor, they had to deal with everything in a different way.TheAnglo Americans were superior to the black Americans, the power and also they were protected by the officers. In the grapes of wrath, the Jodds family are driven out of their land because it has been bought by the company and since they do not have power, they cannot do anything they loaded their belongings to   a truck that they owned.

The black American were the labourers, after their land was taken from them and plantations made by the Anglo –Americans, they were made the labourers who did the hard work. They did not have any pride or dignity this was because they were at the mercy of the Anglo-Americans who overworked them, took their land and so they had to work to make a living for themselves.

The black Americans took orders and did not question what they were told to do and this was because they did not want to loose their jobs. Like the boy, Davis who was sent to go and demolish Muleys house, he did not like what he was doing but he had to earn a living and feed himself and his family, this led the blacks to be individualistic, they did not care about their brothers but themselves.

The black Americans were bitter because of how they were treated and most of their teenagers were full of anger and resorted to violence to let out their anger. This also led to all teenage black Americans being treated as criminals and always being arrested and taken to jail.

In the zoot suit riots, the Mexican American and African Americans were living under miserable conditions like houses and no recreation facilities for their children. The Anglo-Americans who were in service beat Mexican Americans and Black American not because they were members of zoot suit riots but because they were black and not white. The Mexican Americans were stripped of their clothes and left naked.

Ethnicity did not affect as much as race affected the difference in the lifestyles of those who were living in the American West. Although there were incidences like those of the okies who had a nomadic kind of life because their land had been grabbed while the California locals were settled and did not want the Okies settling on their land.

Gender also made a difference in the lifestyle of the people, the women were the pillars of their families, they showed them love, took care of them. The women were religious; they prayed for their families and did their best to keep their families together. The men on the other hand worked hard in the farms and did their best to protect their families and identity. .

Did it matter if one was white or black?

It did matter a lot about whether one was white or black and this was because there was a difference in everything from the kind of jobs that the whites did and the ones the blacks did. The blacks were the labourers who worked in the plantations while the whites were the bosses who supervised their work .The whites are the ones who owned the land which they took from the blacks. The whites were protected by the service men and had the powers to give orders, while the blacks were always being watched by the service men and suspected as criminals. The blacks had to fight to protect themselves like the case of tom in the grapes of wrath where the police stubbed and killed and his friend and as he tried to defend his friend, he killed the police officer.

What role did gender play in the life experience of western Women?

The Western Women learnt to be tough to take care of their families because most of their men ended up in prisons for many years like the story of   tom’s grand pa who was jailed for many years and his grandma had to take care of the family by herself. The women were the pillars of their families, they provided them with the support they needed and took care of them by preparing their food. The women were not to raise their concerns about what the Anglo Americans did to them, their voices were not to be heard complaining. The women had to protect the men to avoid them being harassed by the police, they kept secrets like the case of tom after killing the  police had to go into hiding and his mother had to protect him from being arrested again.

What is the significance of race and gender in the history of America West?

Race played a very significant role in the history of Western America, the race one belonged to dictated the kind of lifestyle one would live like the neighbourhood one lived in .the Black Americans lived in areas that had very poor living conditions while the Anglo-Americans lived in the areas with the best facilities.

The race one belonged to also   made one access a given kind of facilities and therefore things like education good education facilities were limited to the Anglo-Americans while those of the black Americans lacked some of the essential needs. This left the black Americans with no good education and they also did not progress much in education .Being that your race dictated the kind of job that one would do, it also affected the economic status of the  Black Americans poor  and also bitter because of their land  and properties that had been taken away.

These books explain very well the origin of some of the cultures of the American like individualism, the women being very independent and also the Black American men being protective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. John Steinbeck’s The grapes of wrath. Updated ed. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007. Print.

Daniels, Roger. Prisoners without trial: Japanese Americans in World War II. Rev. ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004. Print.

Johnson, Dorothy M.. The man who shot Liberty Valance. Center Point large print ed. Thorndike, Me.: Center Point Pub., 2006. Print.

Valdez, Luis, and Edna Ochoa. Zoot suit. Bilingual ed. Houston, Tex.: Arte PuÌ blico Press, 2004. Print.