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Poetry from Linda Thomas and Joan Didion on The Santa Ana Wind

Decent Essays
The Santa Ana Wind
Linda Thomas and Joan Didion are both natives of Southern California and wrote about the Santa Ana, a wind that blows from northeast to Southern California every year. Didion, the author of The Santa Ana, mostly writes about the area where she was born in 1934. Thomas, the author of Brush Fire, was also born in Southern California. She has been writing poems, stories and essays for 25 years. Her writing has appeared in numerous print journals like American Poetry Review. Both writers approach the topic of the Santa Ana winds very differently, although they both wish to inform different people about the effects of the winds. Each author has a different point of view and purpose than the other. Didion wanted to write
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Didion’s tone was serious, ominous, and dark, and was very different from Thomas’s tone which was more positive. Although acknowledging the destructive nature of the fires caused by the Santa Ana winds, Thomas generally talked about positive results of the fires. She describes the “amazing sight” of the fire as she watches “the flames lick up a hillside” and ends the essay by reminding the reader that the “chaparral will return.” By this, she means that many of the plants in chaparral country need the heat of the flames to reproduce, so within a few weeks, new plants will rise from the ashes. The fire also helps get rid of the dead plants that need to be burnt so they can get out of the way for new plants to come in. Didion has a very different tone regarding the winds. She describes the various hints of change with dark words. To her, there is an “eerie absence of surf” and the “heat was surreal,” instead of it simply being hot with no waves in the water. The author particularly chooses words with creepy connotations to make the reader feel a similar feeling to the uneasiness that the Southern California natives feel. These contrasting tones make the authors' opposing views on the winds very evident. Both writers use immense amounts of imagery to describe the Santa Ana Winds. Since Santa Ana is believed to be a terrifying wind, each author used imagery to either prove or refute the terror. Thomas proved the beauty in Southern California that occurred because of
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