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Reading Journey for the The Solosit by Steven Lopez p.1-45 - Book Report/Review Example

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Steve wants to write a column on Tony because he plays with some level of expertise and there seems to be an interesting back story…
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Reading Journey for the book The Solosit by Steven Lopez p.1-45
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______________________________ July 10, Pages 45 Chapters One to Three – The Soloist Main points: Steve Lopez, a reporter for theLos Angeles Times, meets Nathaniel (Tony) Ayers, a homeless violinist with a violin that only has two strings.
Steve wants to write a column on Tony because he plays with some level of expertise and there seems to be an interesting backstory.
Steve meets Tony on and off because the latter does not stay in one place.
Tony reveals that he was once a student at Juilliard, a prestigious music school.
Steve finds Tony’s sister, Jennifer, who is a social worker in Atlanta.
Jennifer tells Steve that in her brother’s third year in Julliard, he suddenly takes of his clothes in front of his roommate and his roommate’s fiancée.
The police take him to the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital where the doctor diagnoses him with paranoid schizophrenia.
Jennifer narrates the struggles of their mother in taking care of Tony at home.
Steve prints the column and gets overwhelming positive response from readers.
Tony tells almost everything to Steve now, whether they are real or delusional.
Steve tells Tony that he can play the new instruments sent to him, but he should keep them in Lamp Community, an agency that helps mentally ill people.
Steve feels responsible now for Tony’s welfare because of readers who constantly ask about him through mail.
Summary:
Steve Lopez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, meets Nathaniel (Tony) Ayers, a homeless violinist with a violin that only has two strings. Steve wants to write a column on Tony because he plays with some level of expertise and there seems to be an interesting back story. Steve meets Tony on and off because the latter does not stay in one place. Tony also appears to have mental illness because he tends to be suspicious and does not make sense all the time, as if he is having hallucinations. Tony reveals that he was once a student at Juilliard, a prestigious music school. Steve confirms with Julliard that they have an alumnus named Nathaniel Ayers, a bass player. Steve also learns from Ron Guzzo, one of the managers of Motter’s Music House, that Ayers buys musical instruments from them for the past two decades. Steve finds Tony’s sister, Jennifer, who is a social worker in Atlanta. Jennifer tells Steve that, in her brother’s third year in Julliard, he suddenly takes off his clothes in front of his roommate and his roommate’s fiancée. The police take him to the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital where the doctor diagnoses him with paranoid schizophrenia. Jennifer narrates the struggles of their mother in taking care of Tony at home. After their mother died in 2000, Tony decides to look for their father who abandoned them when they were children. Tony finds his father, but he leaves him anyway. After Steve collects enough information about Tony and confirms some parts with people he knows or who know him, he publishes the column. He gets overwhelming positive response from readers who want to help him get new strings or new musical instruments. Steve tells this to Tony who does not believe him at first. Tony tells almost everything to Steve now, whether they are real or delusional. Steve tells Tony that he can play the new instruments sent to him, but, he should keep them in Lamp Community, an agency that helps mentally ill people. Steve also realizes that, by writing a column on Tony, he becomes somewhat responsible now for his welfare.
Personal Response:
It must be so exciting to be a reporter and get the feeling of finding a good story. Good stories do not always have to be big exposes on criminals and politicians. Sometimes, they can be about ordinary people who, after experiencing many problems, still manage to be good and decent. If I find someone like Tony, I honestly cannot talk to him the way Steve did, because I am suspicious of strangers. Steve made me realize that we can be friends with the homeless and be better people because of these friendships. In addition, to be a family member of someone who has mental illness must be difficult indeed. As a parent, I will love my child too whatever his/her illness is and take care of them as long as I live. I will just hire a caregiver if I cannot take care of them, or if I need help. I will not put them in a mental hospital where he/she might worsen because of lack of love and sense of autonomy. Society, on the contrary, is not kind to the mentally ill. They would rather put them in hospitals than help them integrate in communities. I hope that our government will be able to take care of the mentally ill more because the more we neglect them, the more that they might lose their dignity and become violent.
Questions:
Why should society take care of the mentally ill, including helping fund their medical care?
How can we help the mentally ill, at least those who are not yet extremely violent and delusional, from being functional enough to survive in society?
Vocabulary:
flabbergasted- surprise a person greatly
disheveled- can refer to a persons hair, clothes, or appearance which is untidy; disordered. Read More
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