The Harvest Themes

Themes

Materialism
The young boys who speculate about Don Trine have a limited, materialistic vision of life. Although they work on the land, they have no real connection to it. This may be understandable since they are migrant workers often on the move, but it is clear that they can conceive value only in terms of money. A man like Trine who goes off in secret must be hiding money. Perhaps the attitude of the youngsters reflects the hard and impoverished life led by Mexican American migrant workers. As lowpaid workers without many material resources, they see the accumulation of money as the principal goal of life. Although their ethnic heritage is Mexican, they live in the United States, the most abundant culture in the world from a materialistic point of view, and they have acquired its values. Acquiring these values has come at the expense of a true relationship with and understanding of nature and its cycles. At the end of the story, one of the boys finds out for himself that there are things of enormous value that have nothing to do with money.

Nature and Its Meaning
In contrast to the young boys who think of life only in terms of money, the older workers appear to have a different attitude. These are the people the narrator refers to in the first paragraph as ‘‘the folks.’’ They are more mature and reflective and can sense an ‘‘aura of peace and death’’ in the air as the harvest season comes to an end. Sensing...

(The entire section is 452 words.)