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Prosperity Working In The Fields Essay

1418 words - 6 pages

Ponce 6Kevin PonceMrs. HoovlerEnglish 1A4 March, 2014Prosperity Working in the FieldsLife 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 of time. His mother would be home soon. On his way home, Rick jumps out of the bushes and snatches Soto's glasses. Soto waited and hid in the darkness of some bushes until his mother came home and found him. He folded and told his mom everything that happened: "Rick got a spanking and Mom was raising a belt to punish me when I pointed at my sunglasses and cried that I might really go blind. She stopped and just wagged her finger at me and warned that I would get a double dose the next time I misbehaved" (20). Not only did Gary Soto win the fan game, get pampered, and become a celebrity at the playground because of his persistence; he also dodged a spanking from his mom because of his quick thinking.Failure is not an option For Soto as he enters a crafts contest. The categories were drawing, lanyard, clay, and macaroni. Baseball caps went to first place winners. Certificates were handed to second and third place. One by one Soto handed over works of art: "I came to the playground with s Frostie root beer bottle. I spray-painted it gold and after smearing it with glue rolled it into a pie tin of peat moss which shimmered a mystical gold. Pleased thus far, I then glued macaroni noodles that I had painted red to the neck of the bottle" (21). After finishing his last art craft: "The coach announced a special contest in which we could do anything we pleased" (22). Soto decorated a Campbell's soup can and...

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