Last updated: May 15, 2019
Topic: Food
Sample donated:

Landless Movements

Human being is the “pernicious creature”[1] on the surface if the earth that creates tools and devises various ways to harm himself. Despite the various triumphs in various field of life, humanity is still afflicted with various socio-economic evils. The thematic expression and symbolism used in the poem by Espada, the picture by Salgado that depicts pathos and miseries and the illustrative article by Lappe, all reinforces this idea of destructive nature of human beings. It is still an undisclosed mystery that it is instinct, habitual formation or the socialization that compel humans not to make their own world devoid of poverty and miseries.

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The descriptive poem by Espada reveals the above-mentioned mean attitude of human beings. In the poem, pilot is an epitome of the cruel nature of human whereas Federico symbolizes the victimization of humanity by that cruel nature. Pilot is an incarnation of pernicious human attitude that sprays humanity with poison of weapons of mass destructions, economic exploitation and petty ethnic and social conflicts. What motivated the pilot to “circle[d] again and spray[ed] again” is “an obscene finger.” The act the boy was not due to malicious motives but due to low level of rationality and understanding, the pilot made him a victim of revenge. They are from the same group, functionally i.e. their work is to produce and provide something best (fruit) to their consumers (human beings), although not by status. Same is the attitude of the human beings that although their ultimate purpose is to deliver their best to make civilization progress and prosper but petty affairs and motives move them to kill their own fellow beings. Another theme in the poem depicts that we (human) does not care for these afflictions that are drawn over us by ourselves but again indulge ourselves in the trivial affairs of life. The fellow fruit pickers are again busy in their mundane life after the death of Federico.


The picture of a small girl by Sebastiao Salgado further provides an insight into the dilemma discussed above. There is a ray of hope in her eyes but her overall withering physique juxtaposes with her bright eyes. As she is suffering from malnutritioning at present that is manifested by her physical health but soon she will realize the poverty and inequality in life and her hope will turn into utter despair. She has the right to get the basic necessities of life (education is one that is depicted in the picture) but that are only privileged to few one. So again humans are denying the basic rights to their fellow beings.

The article by Lappe provides another evidence of human cruelty. Some are privileged to have options to choose between varieties of food available whereas other does not have access to even a single morsel. Lappe rightly said that “we are creating a scarcity of our own supplies by wanting to accommodate our taste (Lappe 1-4)”.

All above-mentioned examples provide a v bleak picture about humanity. Human has progressed through ages and are now at the threshold of space age but socially it is unable to creative an equal and just society. Psychologically human beings have not attained a proper level of rationality hitherto. So humanity is still suffering from its own pernicious attitude.


[1] A term used by Jonathan Swift in his work “Gulliver’s Travel” to illustrate the cruelty of human beings.