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California Authors Essay

1503 words - 7 pages

Leila’s parents came to America in hopes of a better life for them and their family, but having a better life once you get here is not always the case. When I read this passage I get the sense of having to survive. The necessity of it seems so clear as Leila describes her mom eating alone in the kitchen “sucking out the lesser parts”. The memory she has of this scene that she says “is a happy one, that quickly turned sad” is maybe her trying to say that it is a happy memory but it was them just trying to survive. All you have in that real world is your family, and surviving is what you do. The blood of the family is the mother and the bones the father. Don’t waste any of the bird, including ...view middle of the document...

If you look at this passage and then compare it to the rest of Soto’s life and the stories about his life, these words are words that you would use to sum up his feelings towards his childhood and growing up. I think he chose this one day in particular to tell to us because of all the feelings that he felt. These were not just feelings about this day but they were feelings about his life.

Part Two:
As with any book you read, the way the author describes the surroundings and setting of a book set the tone for the reader and help you paint a picture in your head of where the characters are. With this setting in your mind, you are then able to create characters in your mind, their personalities, their quirks. The feeling that you get when you read the book Bone and the feelings you get when you read the book Donald Duk are two very different feelings. When you read Bone, you get the feeling of greys and soft blues, and pale whites with the occasional color mixed in. These colors give us a muted sadness throughout the book. While when you read Donald Duk you get more of the harsh colors of reds, blues, greens, oranges, colors that are in your face. Colors that almost annoy you.
In the beginning of the book as you try to get a feel for the characters and the Chinatown that Chin has created you get a sense that Donald is not that fond of of his surroundings. “Out on the street in the early morning shadows of Chinatown, Arnold Azelea is startled by the noise. Chinatown in the morning is hard on the ears of a boy...He is not used to the noise.”(p.32). If you look at this passage, you can clearly sense that Donald Duk isn’t too fond of his hometown. The writer is using words and phrases like “early morning shadows”, “hard on the ears”, “rush hour roar”, “cars howl”, “snarl”, and “growl”. All these words almost throw themselves at us, with rich and bright colors that are almost too much to look at. Why use such harsh words to describe his surroundings? These vivid descriptions are not only telling us that he doesn’t like Chinatown but that he feels very passionate about his feelings towards this place.
As he describes the city as a whole in the last passage, towards the end of the book you get an even more vivid description of a smaller place within Chinatown. “The first thing Donald sees as he steps out of his building is the Chinatown door to a two story Chinese restaurant with a glittery tile front.”(p.133-134). As he describes this scene of the carnival, you would think that being a kid he would be very enthusiastic and he would use words that would lead us to believe that he loves the carnival.
Instead, Chin describes it in a very non-chalant way. The fiddler is sad, the monkey screeches, instead of the colors painting, they scrawl and melt. Throughout the book you feel as though Donald Duk is complaining, is hating his life and through the...

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