4 March, 2014
Prosperity Working in the Fields
Life as a Mexican in Gary Soto's time was not easy, especially when considering that during the 1960s, there was plenty of discrimination. If one was not of white ethnicity, then he/she had to work even harder to make a living. Living Up the Street is full of short stories from Gary Soto's past. One story mentions the time when he spent his summer as a young boy working for money. He completed small tasks for his neighbors for a dime or nickel. This autobiography about Soto reveals potential in a young boy who never gives up. In a time of poverty and discrimination, Soto possesses attributes that will lead to a fortuitous life.
Gary Soto proves in "1, 2, 3" that he doesn't give in easily. He and his brother Rick had a contest to see he could stare into a fan the longest.
Soto never took his eyes off the fan. His prize was an eye infection in both eyes. His mother was terrified and had to take him to see a doctor. His prize of infected eyes came with perks: "I was served more ice cream, more this and that, and was allowed to stay up until nine-thirty to watch Dobie Gillis in my smoky sunglasses" (17). The next day before his mother left for work, she told him that he couldn't go outside and play because he could go blind. Soto was later convinced by his brother Rick that he should come outside and play: "At the playground I was a celebrity; the kids milled around me and asked if I was blind, did it hurt, would I have to wear the sunglasses forever" (18)? He lost track...