Wu 1Fangyao WuDr. Josh PryorEnglish 1A 20171_1121010 February 2017Rereading America Assignment #2LOOKING FOR WORK1.The narrator in “Looking for Work” is a nine-year-old Mexican American boy. He isattracted to the family life that is shown because the families on these shows were “so uncomplicated in” their routines “that I wanted very much to imitate it” (Soto 20). TV shows depicted middle class or wealthier families that led lives that seemed easy, comfortable and perfect. Television shows, like Father Knows Bestpresented an ideal image of American life thatwas unattainable to most families. The narrator watched the “comfortable lives of white kids” every morning on TV (Soto 22). This attracted the boy because his life was not that way. He wanted the ideal. He wanted toys and orange juice in the mornings and “gobs of money” like the kids on the shows he watched. This doesn’t mean that he thinks there is anything wrong with his own life. As a child, he just wants something different than what he has. This is why he tries to get his brother and sister to “wear shoes at dinner”. He believes that doing this, and other things like having his mother cook turtle soup will change their life to match what is on TV. He troes to convince his family that if they “improved” the way they looked then the “white people would like” them more and “invite them” places (Soto 23). The family is happy and loving. They are comfortable in their routines and activities. The family also understands that, as his sister says “they’ll never like us” (Soto 23). Because of this, the narrator’s desires do not really impact the family.
Wu 22.The narrator decides that he wants to become wealthy, so he “took a rake from the garageand started up the block to look for work” (Soto 20). The narrator seems to be imagining that he can actually find enough work as a nine-year-old to be rich. He sees work as the means to gain wealth. By the end of the story, the narrator wants to find “an overgrown flower bed and the dime that would end the day right” (Soto 24). His definition of work has changed. In the beginning the work was to gain wealth. At the end of the day the narrator saw work as an adventure that made him feel good about himself. It was also as a way to “maintain” his lifestyle.A dime would almost cover his admission into the swimming pool. 3.As Soto looks back on his life as a child he has a different perspective. As a child, he feltthat the “ideal” family was the way he wanted his family to be. This is why, as a child, he wantedto do and have the things the white families on TV did. Their lives were “comfortable”, they had money, and they had “dessert at the table” (Soto, 22-23). This is what the TV sold as a “good” family and it is what Soto believed made a “good” family. As an adult Soto sees it differently. Hethinks his childhood family life was good. He thinks his family was good. The adult Soto talks fondly of sitting at the table in bathing suits for dinner “laughing and chewing loudly” (Soto 22).
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