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Soto - Essay Example

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Professor Name Day Month Year “Looking for Work”: An Analysis The resilience of youth and the economic disparity between the races are certainly the underlying themes in Gary Soto’s short essay ‘Looking for Work’. Young adolescents frequently find themselves daydreaming of a better life…
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Download file to see previous pages Soto exhibits several strong purposes in writing this essay. The first thing that the reader will notice is that this author writes to entertain. The reader can visualize the boy in the story trying to find something to do other than watch ‘the perfect family’ on television all summer. His interactions with others throughout the story, while carrying an underlying tone we will analyze in a moment, are written in a narrative format that is easy to follow along. Whoever reads the story can feel a part of the boy’s life and truly visualize what he spends his summer days doing. When he encounters Mrs. Moore in his effort to do some work at her house, she exclaims “It’s summer, and there ain’t no leaves” (Soto 24). This makes us all remember the days of our youth and our good-natured encounters with the neighbors. A subsequent, more serious purpose to this essay lies in the life of the boy and his siblings. Soto appears to be asking the reader to empathize with the characters in the story. Adults all around them seem to be communicating that, because of their Hispanic heritage, they can only go so far up the ladder of success in society. So, they spend their days watching the perfect ‘white’ family on television and wishing, almost, that they had been born into a different family, or at least at a different time. This is a social message. Soto is effectively asking his audience to imagine being a child who feels others around him are superior to him simply because of their race. He also is asking the reader to visualize being a child and discovering that nearly every adult in your life supports the notion that you are stuck where you are and cannot advance. It is certainly not a ‘pretty picture’, but it is certainly a message that certainly gives the reader pause to reflect and consider. Soto was effective in pointing the readers, in an entertaining fashion, towards a serious social problem facing the country. He takes issue with boys and girls who are told their dreams cannot come true even before they reach the middle of adolescence. The boy’s two siblings seem to already have bought into this notion. His brother, in essence, spends his days playing around in the ditch and really desires to do nothing else. Sensing that there is more to life, the boy begins to strike out on his own and try to make something of himself. Sure, this is just a story, but the message and purpose is clear. Soto really desires to use this essay to point towards this perceived social injustice and he challenges society to take action. To this end, the author is effective. One of Soto’s ideas during this essay is that adults perpetuate this feeling in minority children that they are destined to a life that is inferior to others. He demonstrates this with the boy’s mother. Early in the story, the narrator’s mother tells him “Boy, are you a crazy Mexican. Where did you get the idea that people eat turtles?” (Soto 23). The implication of the mother throughout is clear. While she certainly seems to love her children, she believes that, since they are Mexican, they cannot be like the ‘white children’ they see on television. Sure, you want your children to be proud of their race. Upon analyzing this essay and its purpose, however, it is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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