‘Mole People’ is a ‘pejorative term among homeless advocates and an insulting one to some tunnel dwellers, because it conjures up freakish images’ (Arluke & Sanders, 1996, p.178). Jennifer Toth states that the some of the tunnel dwellers object their being called ‘mole people’ because ‘he feels it is a label that portrays him as an animal, not as a person’ (Toth, 1993, p.3-4). ‘What makes the image of mole people so striking and disturbing is that one pictures wretched and disgusting sub-humans whose abodes might easily be taken for those of burrowing animals’ (Arluke & Sanders, 1996, p.178). The research of Toth is really informative. Toth’s samples included a number of tunnel dwellers but they serve to represent the whole community of mole people.
The mole people are the homeless ones but it must not imply that they cannot struggle for survival. In the large cities these mole people form their own community wherever they live. Their tunnels were ‘all connected’ (Toth, 1993, 20) but the abode was ‘a kind of natural cavern where over two thousand people lived’ and the cliff was so ‘set back from the tracks so that beyond it, train noises could barely be heard’ (Toth, 1993, p.20-21). The mole people lived in ‘the secluded tunnels that run beneath the busy streets in an interconnected lattice and railroad train tunnels’ (Toth, 1993, p.38).
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