No "Iends" In These Friends

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

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No "IENDS" In These Friends A famous hip-hop group, Dilated Peoples, once said "When worst comes to worst, my people come first" and this is not far from the truth for Danny and his group of friends. In the book Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck, this group of friends resist the temptation of greed and lust to help each other and to unify in order to understand the power of loyalty and friendship. Danny and his fellow companions value their priceless friendship more than any material possession. Danny's friends look out for the best of one another and stick together through courage to help those in need. In the end, the group of friends come together as one to understand the power of friendship.

The precious friendship Danny and his friends share with each other is worth more than any material possession. Danny has come back from war and he discovers that he is an heir to two houses.

Danny comes upon Pilon and he tells Pilon of the good news. Danny feels sympathy for poor Pilon, inviting him to stay in the smaller house. From then on he swears "what [Danny] has is thine and while [he] has a house, [Pilon] has a house." Danny asks Pilon to pay rent but "it is impossible to say whether Danny expected any rent, or whether Pilon expected to pay any" because both are poor and are greedy for wine. Danny does not want to lose a friend because of money and so he never asks for rent and Pilon never offers it. Pilon is a poverty stricken man and cannot keep money long enough to resist the temptation of wine. The gift of wine to Danny, rather the payment of rent, expresses "how warmly [Pilon] feels toward his friend, Danny." Pilon, Jesus Maria, and Pablo, the two new roommates, wake up to find their house accidentally burning down and are forced to leave. Danny reprimands the three, but in the end invites them to stay at his house. Pablo, Jesus, and Pilon respect the loyal heart of Danny, agreeing that "in all the world there are few friends like [Danny]." The four finish off the night with a glass of wine to drink for friendship's sake and forget about the tragedy for "lonely it is in the world if there are no friends to sit with one and to share one's grappa." Danny's new roommates enjoy the warmth of a fire, a roof over their head, and most of all the everlasting value of friendship that can never be bought.

Danny's friends look out for the best of one another, sticking together through thick and thin to learn and help each other. In a time of prohibition, Torrelli, a wine vendor and friend, sells wine to Danny and his friends. The group antagonizes Torrelli and his wife but recognize his good deeds, choosing to reward him for the things they find at all one market "wine, food, love, and firewood." The friends agree to always keep Torrelli in their heart because "there is a man to know" and resolve to taking him a present. When the house burns down, Danny invites the three friends to stay with him. Danny's kindness is rewarded when Pilon, Pablo, and Jesus Maria decide to find and keep a constant supply of food for the permanent host and best friend. The three agree "it shall be [their] burden and duty to see that there is always food in the house of Danny." The friends will never let their friend go hungry again. The debt of rude manners to Danny is made up when the three friends decide to search for treasure. On the night of Saint Andrew's Eve, the three go out with the intention to find treasure to give to Danny, trying to make up for the bad manners they have displayed in the house of their perfect friend. Pilon is talking with the other two roommates and is telling them "it is worthwhile to be kind and generous" to a best friend. Here on earth is a "quick reward" for good deeds and "such actions pile up in a house of joy in heaven." If the treasure is found it will be given all to Danny to do what he pleases, but at heart Danny enjoys the work and dedication the friends do to supply Danny with a luxurious future.

Learning from their mistakes, in the end, the group of friends come together to understand the power of friendship and unity. A new man, Pirate, is invited to stay in the house because he has money hidden that the friends would like to spend on wine and food. A turn is taken when the friends understand the Pirate's plan for the money is for the church. The buried money is dug up and brought to the house to be kept and safely guarded. The fraternity of friends' trust revolves around the bag for "the bag of money has become the symbolic center of friendship." No one has taken the money for their own greed and appreciate the problems it does not cause between the friends. Danny becomes depressed about the life he used to live so freely. Danny decides to run away for awhile and enjoy his old lifestyle. For this long time the friends become worried that Danny has become mentally sick. The friends become "dismayed and heavy in their hearts" with grief. They form a search party and look everywhere, until they come upon Danny and throw him a welcome back party to show their need of him. Danny dies after leaving the party by falling in a forty foot ditch. He leaves his friends to stay in his house without his leadership role. The need of Danny from each friend has brought them together and "loyally they remember and proclaim his virtues, loyally they forgot his faults." The friends continue telling stories of Danny, of his goodness, his courage, his piety. Danny will always be remembered for he is a nature god and his friends the primitive symbols of the wind, the sky, the sun.

Many things are learned and forgotten throughout the friendship. It is a great feeling to have friends for life and to know they will always lookout for each other. Danny and his friends will not be very rich physically but in their heart they will be rich with the emotion of a friend. In the end there is no Danny's house or Danny's friends but one house in which it is built upon the foundation friendship and loyalty.