Conflicts in Milagro Beanfield War example

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Conflicts in Milagro Beanfield War

“The Milagro Beanfield War” is a comedic portrayal of the class conflict that exists in the New Mexico society. The class conflict in “The Milagro Beanfield War” is deeply rooted because the warring parties are of different social classes and do not speak the same language. The hero of the story is Joe Mondragon who is uneducated, and is not moved by the desire to be wealthy.

The citizens of Milagro are accustomed to the challenges of poverty and social discrimination by the people of higher social class such as those of corporate organizations. Class conflict is made manifest in this society setup by the actions of Joe who decides against the law to tap into a main irrigation canal and diverts water from the canal belonging to Anglos, a large corporation considered to be of a higher social class into his little patch of the land where he plants beans. The action of Joe degenerates into what can be referred to as the “war of social classes”, which involves the lower social class Hispanics of Milagro against a higher social class Anglos that owns a large corporation which is planning to develop the land around Milagro into a tourist resort. The conflict that pits Joe and the residents of Milagro against Anglos is similar to the biblical story of David versus Goliath (Gunn) or in other words the oppressed against the oppressor.

The conflict in Milagro typifies conflicts related to use of economics resources. New Mexico supports both real estate venture and farming of beans. The higher social class Anglos wants to invest in tourist resorts whereas the lower social class, which is led by Joe, sees farming as the best economic investment for their land. The lower social class thus views the actions of the higher social class as a scheme to dominate them economically. This degenerates into a conflict among various members of the society on how best to use their resources for economic activities (Gunn).


Gunn, Susan C. 'Nichols's The Milagro Beanfield War'. The Explicator 55.1 (1996): 57-59. …

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