Life Of Miners In Hean Marie Laskas´ Hidden America

1110 words - 5 pages

The quote, “My daily life was intimately connected to these people-dependent on them- and yet, up until my time in that mine, I knew nothing about them or their world (2),” best shows the theme that Jean Marie Laskas plans to in her book. Her statement is from the introduction of her book Hidden America as she is in a coal mine observing the workers, and she realizes how foreign their work and lives are to her. This quote symbolizes how Laskas plans to use logic and emotions to break the misconception and show the reliance people have on these characters from her book. Through the display of family attitudes and facts about what actually occurs at the jobs, Laskas is able to break common misconceptions of these workers.
One aspect seen in the “Underworld” is how strong of a family relationship these miners have either with each other. This is a characteristic that one may not normally think of coal miners having, but Laskas is able to display this through their lives outside the mine. While the group heads out to the bar, Laskas includes the conversation that they had. “Sparky said he’d drive him (Kevin) to his place, where he could just go ahead and pass out” (31). Here Laskas shows how concerned the miners are for each other. They were willing to take home their fellow coworker to help him stay safe. Sparky even went so far as to say that he would give Kevin a lunch if he stayed (31). This display of generosity connects with the reader because it is like helping a friend. Even though these miners may be rough and tough to each other, they are always watching out for one another. It is a sense of family that they build that can be contributed to how well that they are able to do their job.
“G-L-O-R-Y” is another chapter Laskas breaks misunderstandings about America’s hidden workforce. This chapter starts off in a puzzling manner. When thinking of cheerleaders, people tend to think of drama and a position that isn’t filled by the ordinary person, yet Laskas shows the reality for these Ben-Gals cheerleaders. She explains the prosperity of the NFL and how popular it is in the houses, but there is a surprising fact about the cheerleaders of these games. “…people assume NFL cheerleaders are within some vague sniffing distance of the good life, but a Ben-Gal is paid seventy-five bucks per game” (83). This staggering artifact of information shows the reader the true side of cheerleading. Laskas explains that the revenue of the NFL is $9 billion, and people always hear about the huge salaries that the players get. The Ben-Gals on the sidelines only get a meager portion of this income. Laskas further shows the dedication it takes to be a Ben-Gal. In addition to hours before the game in preparation, the cheerleaders must also follow a strict schedule that has harsh punishments for tardiness to practice (84). What is even more enthralling is the diversity of these cheerleaders. The cheerleader Rhonee has a bachelor’s in biology with a master’s in public...

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