Essay: The Mole People

By | May 28, 2011

Sample Essay

Mole people are the homeless people who are bound to live under petty conditions in the large cities. Jennifer Toth also used the term in her book The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels beneath New York City that was consisted of the interviews of the tunnel dwellers. The central theme of the book is that the tunnel dwellers are bound to live in alienated communities, as they are not seen as existing entities, where they themselves constitute society in order to survive and sustain.

The book recounts the experiences of the tunnel dwellers in the ‘hollow areas under the passenger platforms’ (Toth, 1993, p.19) because ‘most of the homeless find their homes far enough away from operating tracks where they hear only a slight tremor when train passes’ (Toth, 1993, p.41). The tales of mole people are ‘extraordinary’ illustrations of ‘marginalization’ (Maffi, 2004, p. 33). Moreover the author also shows the positive side of humanity by portraying the helping hands in those very areas. The mastery of Toth lies in the fact that she brings new insights through her work as she ‘informs the reader that living underground was not always considered inhuman’ (Whalen, 1993). It is not only New York but Paris also is ‘honeycombed with a network of tunnels’ (Toth, 1993, p.37).

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