Barrio Boy

1441 Words6 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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At the moment of its waking Sacramento lost…its character…” (Didion 173). In other words, Didion is pointing out how Sacramento is becoming more immoral as urbanization and industrialization occur. However, what is most interesting is how Didion expresses Sacramento’s loss of character through her own experiences. For instance, Didion describes her wonderful memories basking in the Californian sun, rivers, fields and valleys as a child, showcasing the real natural Sacramento. However, later on as a n adult when she returns to Sacramento, Didion finds that the Sacramento she has been seeking is no longer there, as a result of industrial development: It is hard to find California now, unsettling to wonder how much of it was merely imagined or improvised; melancholy to realize how much of anyone’s memory no true memory at all…I have an indelibly vivid ‘memory’, for example, of how Prohibition affected the hop growers around Sacramento… (Didion 57)
In the excerpt above Didion expresses how she was unable to reconnect with the California she grew up with because of all the changes it has suffered. She also mentions prohibition, which by definition is a reform movement that outlawed drinking because it's effects on the home, in order to really capture how increasing industrialization led to the gradual loss of the traditional Californian way of life. She uses prohibition as an example to show how people's ideas are shifting with the introduction of urbanization;

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