“And you earn a living doing history?”
“Look what can happen by dint of imitating the tourists!”
“I’ll throw myself onto the tracks if my dad insists I study history and stuff,” exclaimed a kid, barely ten years old, who was with his father. (Mujila, 42)
In Tram 83, getting an education doesn’t fall at the bottom of people’s list of priorities; it’s not on the list at all. People live in a perpetual competition for resources and economic opportunities. Education is something that is privileged, associated with those who have the luxury of not working for, at the very least, four years. It’s “imitating the tourists,” the people who come only to exploit their land and live in the luxury of not having to fight every day to survive. People are dying of hunger, you have to work to survive day to day. You have to take any and all opportunities. and get a “real job.” Even when you do get an education, how do you earn a living in academia? No one is reading.
There’s no reason for those in Tram 83 to want to read, anyways. They live in a country ravaged by colonization and still receive no benefit from the for-profit tourists that own the mining industry. They are not the victors, and it is the victors who write history. Those on top will always write history, and as a person who has been oppressed you loose your history. I know I wouldn’t want to read that either.
Seeking an education is something that is inherently hopeful. You get an education so you can have a better future, so that you have more opportunities. How can you justify an education if you do not have a future at all? Educating yourself does not do anything besides waste time you could spent working for a living, there aren’t any jobs for those who are educated. As a student, you will also have to find a way to get to school and become forced to rely on the unpredictable train. The only thing that changes once you become a student is what your predicted death will be. On pg 76 we learn that the number one cause of death for students is to be hit by these trains, followed closely by an even bleaker cause; suicide.
It’s not as simple as, “educate yourself.”