`` 13, 1977, 21 By Jonathan Lethem

1359 Words Feb 9th, 2016 6 Pages
The essay I am analyzing is entitled simply as “13, 1977, 21” by Jonathan Lethem. It’s personal narrative that is a retelling of the author’s childhood and it starts with Lethem confessing that he saw the original Star Wars movie twenty-one times in one summer when he was thirteen years old. Despite what some readers may think, this essay is not about any kind of obsession he may have with Star Wars. He tells more about the aspects of his childhood that related to the detail of his almost religious coming and going to the movie theater, which serves as the sweet lace to the bitter truth of his childhood. In this essay, Lethem purposefully uses the device of Star Wars to link details of that time in his life to frame into what maybe the most important time in his life.
Lethem is a Brooklyn, New York native and talks about that summer in 1977 when he take the subway to Astor Plaza, which is near Times Square, to see Star Wars. As he’s confessing that during that summer he saw the movie twenty-one times, it sounds like he’s on a stage admitting some sort of sin to the audience as if they were his priest, and he tries to make it very clear that he is ashamed of it. This works into the type of audience he’s aiming to gain. This essay is sort of a trap. Within the first sentence of the essay, “In the summer of 1977 I saw Star Wars—the original, which is all I want to discuss here—twenty one times.” (245), he uses the popular subject of Star Wars to reel any wandering reader. The…

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