Barrio Boy

1443 words 6 pages
Alexandra Ortiz
English 120
Professor DiFranco
Essay #2
Both Ernesto Galarza’s “Barrio Boy” and Joan Didion’s “Notes From a Native Daughter” write about Sacramento’s past. Both authors talk about Sacramento during two different time periods. Joan Didion talks about the mid-century and Ernesto Galarza talks about the early 20th century. Although both author’s perspective of Sacramento differs from era to era, there are differences in certain characteristics described by both authors. Galarza’s essay focuses on an immigrant point of view arriving into Sacramento versus Didion’s experiences as a native decedent of Sacramento. Joan Didion’s Sacramento is a very different place compared to Ernesto Galarza’s , for him it’s an
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Didion also notes how the rapid process of urbanization leads to detachment between people; a loss of connection and purpose. She says: “ It is a town in which defense industry and its absence owners are suddenly the most important facts... it is a town many of whose most solid citizens sense about themselves a kind of functional obsolescence. The old families still see only one another, but they do much as they once did” (Didion 61). In other words, Didion conveys the idea that with industrialization, people's goals shift from farming to industrializing, and so people no longer feel the need to talk to one another because of the time consuming nature of industrialization. Moreover, their original functions in society are being uprooted and demolished by industrialization. And so we see how for Didion industrialization leads to the loss of connection between people and a loss of purpose people once felt. Last but not least, Didion writes about a “new generation of native Sacramentans,” one that does not particularly care for traditional Californian lifestyle, which is emerging with the increase of industrialization (Didion 62). For Didion this is the true problem because the “old” Sacramento, as she refers to it, now becomes something to be read about, not experienced. Didion uses an example of a mansion that once stood in Sacramento in order to further showcase


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