Story Analysis: Honky By Dalton Conley

Better Essays

Minority Autobiography Analysis
(Book Report)

Title: Honky
Author: Dalton Conley

"Honky" is the true story of Dalton Conley, a white kid, growing up in a minority community. The story takes place beginning at the end of the 1960's and concluding in the early 1980's and takes us from the authors early childhood to college. Dalton Conley was white, with a Jewish mother and an Irish/English father.
Both of Dalton's patents were artists. His mother, Ellen, grew up in northern Pennsylvania, the daughter of a dentist, and was a graduate of Penn State University. She was active in the civil rights movement in the early sixties and later spent time in Haiti as a volunteer. She is probably best described as somewhat of a …show more content…

Dalton and Jerome drift apart and Dalton becomes good friends with another classmate named Raphael. He is Latino, lives near the school and his parents have money. Dalton and Raphael accidentally set fire to Raphael's apartment playing a game with matches. Both kids were found to blame for the incident and neither was punished severely. Dalton knows this would have been different if he had been black and the fire had been in one of the tenements near his home.
When Jerome had been shot, Dalton's mother had placed their name on a waiting list for low-income housing in Roosevelt Long Island and just before Dalton enters high school, the family moves. Dalton is puzzled as to why they were given the housing instead of one of his neighbors and finds his parents being artists played a big role.
Dalton had been accepted into a quality, public school known for its academics where he makes friends with the kids of working class families who commuted great distances, as he once did, to school. After high school, he leaves his family, moves to San Francisco, and attends Berkley. After college, he returns to New York, lives in Manhattan just a few miles from where he grew up, and is a professor at Yale.

Theoretical Application

Dalton's experiences growing up reflect many of the theories we covered during class. Early on he has little concept of what race is and considers himself part of the neighborhood in which he is growing up. Everyone around him is either

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