In this anthology, I present Los Angeles as a hardworking city with very dedicated inhabitants. The city is, however, full of dissatisfaction from the people towards the police. The police in the “Twilight” are seen beating up Rodney King in a very brutal manner. A lady is saying “I knew it was wrong.”
The words depict Los Angeles as a city where the police are brutal as against the civilian population. The hardworking nature of Los Angeles is espoused in the “the face” by Santiago Baca, where the writer quotes “I emerged from the black oil pools in the forgotten house of dreams…” Santiago describes his life from humbleness to richness and being a good writer. Santiago, having been raised by grandparents and being imprisoned, still chose not to give up in life. He strived a lot by trying to be a poem writer back in prison and, later on, by becoming one of the best writers. The story brings out Los Angeles as a place where there are no hopeless people. American people are so industrious, and everyone is determined to be successful in life. The exposition of the aggressive nature of the Los Angeles population comes out in “what makes Sammy run?” In this book, Sammy defies all orders of poverty to become one of the best producers in Hollywood. The Youngman begins by being a writer which job he later on abandons and becomes a radio presenter and finally making a transition to Hollywood. No persons seem, however, to understand Sammy.
The city of Los Angeles also takes pride in self-respect, a sense of humanity and love. For example, in her paper “self-respect” Joan Didion says that the “self-respect is what our grandfathers instilled in us…” Joan espouses on her essay by saying that people who respect themselves will not care whether Indians are hostile to America or not. People with self-respect are courageous and do not need to bend low to politicians in order to satisfy their needs. According to her, self-respect is everything. In summary, self-respect drives away racism, discrimination, and hatred. The article by Wambaugh, titled “the Centurion”, also demonstrates a sense of humanity towards the police. The writer defends the police by stating that the police are exposed to a lot of danger in their attempts to keep peace. He says there is a need to view the police as people who are also humans and whose aim is to maintain order. The civilian population in Los Angeles, therefore, is urged to respect the police.
Los Angeles also depicts black people as being very hard-working and remorseful. The story of Mosley “Always outnumbered. Always outgunned”, the author presents a theme of remorsefulness and love to a man who suffered jail for 27 years but still while he marched out, he chooses to forgive and mentor people in society. He was against police brutality and very kind to everyone. Despite having lost a lot of time in prison, he is determined to find a job. Socrates, the main character in the book, offers a lot of advice to Darryl and assists him not to live the life that Socrates himself has lived.
The question of discrimination in Los Angeles has however also been brought out in several pieces of work. In the “Twilight” for example, the killing of Rodney King by the four white policemen brings out racism. The police are left free even when they are guilty simply because they are whites. In “Little Rome” by Watts, the story of the burning of Watts once again shows racism and police oppression in America. In fact, it represents Los Angeles as a very violent city.
The work by Himes, however, corrects the misunderstanding of them people toward Los Angeles by terming the city as full of racism. In the book, a Swedish lecturer invites a white to a hotel for lunch simplifying that the restaurants are open to all. The young black man also takes the food of his choice in a hotel of his choice.
The Twilight 1992
“It was such an oppressive atmosphere. I knew it was wrong. Whatever he did. I knew it was wrong. I just knew in my heart. This is wrong…” (Twilight: Loss Angeles .1992 pg. 50)
The words represent oppression of Rodney King by the police. Rodney King was an African American and the scene in the play reflected the kind of prejudice that the white policemen had towards the black people. The whole picture brings out the discriminative and oppressive nature the whites towards the black people. The racism is exposed as the four policemen who are responsible for this act were left free. This leads to demonstrations in the streets of Los Angeles protesting the police oppression of the black people. The theme of racism and police oppression reflected in this quote runs through the whole of Smiths book. The excerpt was lifted directly from the words that were said at the scene when Rodney King suffered torture. The aim of the play is to use theater entertainment as a means of informing people about co-existing in harmony and fighting injustice based on race by all means.
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Watts- little Rome
“As in the days of Moses, I cry unto Thee, Oh! Almighty God! Tell them to “Let Thy people go.” Bring back and instill in the memory of our government, Dear God, The fall of Rome in the days of Nero. Wake the people, Oh, Lord! For you have placed in our hands a weapon of desires for freedom, justice, and equality.” (Watts- little Rome)
The quote is meant to demonstrate the discrimination that took place during the burning of Rome. It compares with the story regarding the burning of Watts in 1965. The story is a reflection of how racism plays a part towards of the oppression of blacks as well as the falsification of Christians in Rome. In Watt’s exposition, the black people and the Hispanic people of have been the target of police oppression. The writer brings out the story in a manner reflecting the crash of the American society. During the Burning of Watts, prices had dramatically increased. Instead of being the guardians and the protectors of the people, the police have lost the sense of humanity and have now turned around toward the black people. The author, McKellar, fights for justice for the population of Rome during the Roman civilization and for the freedom from the oppression. In America too, McKellar seeks to end discrimination based on color in America.
Talk to me, Anna Smith, 2000
“I think we can learn lot about a person at the very moment that language fails them. In the very moment, they have to be more creative than they would have imagined to communicate…” Talk to me, 2000
The theme exposed in this quote is attentive listening. Smith has spent a large part of her life listening to people, including her parents and other people surrounding her. She discovers that there is a considerable talk in silence, unlike uttering the words. The theme arises out of her solitary life in Baltimore where she spent life alone. She, therefore, grew up devising means in which she would get communication from silence. The silence communication is the creativity as per Smith
Self-respect, 1968 by Joan Didion
“Self-respect is something that our grandparents, whether or not they had it, knew all about. They had instilled in them, young, an individual discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, support.”
The above quote appears in Joan Didion’s essay titled “Self-respect”. The article reflects on the character of oneself. Joan Didion seems to express that Self-respect is one of the virtues that makes an individual tight in all matters of life. According to her, everyone must take responsibility for their lives and not to rely on politicians. Didion wrote the essay as a way of fighting for the justice of the Indian people, who were trickling in America. She argues that self-respect allows the American people to live in harmony with the Indians. Self-respects, according to the author, is the primary value. She indirectly suggests that the fight against racism and discrimination in America can only cease if people had self-respect.
The Centurion by Wambaugh, 1979
“Gus, do you think policemen are in a better position to understand criminality than, say, penologists or parole officers or other behavioral scientists?” The Centurions by Wambaugh
Unlike other writers who always criticized and portrayed the police as being inhuman, Wambaugh had more positive views of for the policemen after witnessing the Watts riots. He expresses the plight of the young policemen who are exposed to a lot of danger on the streets while calming a riot, arresting people and, in the end, who die from a bullet and do not have a pension. The above mentioned quote is meant to provoke the mind of the reader to reconsider the plight of the policemen on the streets. The result, however, is a mockery on the police. In his book the centurion, the writer notices the people calling the police “pig” during the Watts riots. The author tries to break away from the common abuse of the police by the people towards showing the importance of the police in our society today.
“The face” Santiago Baca
“I emerged from the black oil pools in the forgotten house of dreams in the wild backcountry of the heart. I am heir to the sun, child of Mother Earth and the Mayan galaxy. All the mountain cures and healing waters and winds and junipers run deep in my bloodstream.” The face, 2013
This quote comes from “The face” by Santiago Baca. The primary theme is a love for life. In this book Santiago primarily describes his own life. He imagines all the hardships he has gone through in course of his life. He begins from being an orphan at a very young age. The conditions in which he was raised up by his grandparents were harsh, but he managed to survive. He says he survived what many people could not have. He remembers being imprisoned together with death row inmates, but he did not give up in his life. He chose to push on and advance his writing skills. He started writing poems while in prison. After overcoming all the hardships, Santiago recollects in this book, his love for life. That’s why he says from the quote that he emerged from a forgotten house of dreams. He believes he belongs to the universe since he lacks parents. Indeed, the theme of love is reflected throughout Santiago’s story.
Always outnumbered, always outgunned. Walter Mosley, 2010
“You stood up for yourself Darryl…that’s all a Blackman could do. You always outnumbered. Always outgunned” Always outnumbered. Always outgunned, 2010.
This quote reflects the Socrates’ life of redemption. The theme being depicted is one of guilt, love and injustice. Socrates’ life in prison for 27 years has taught him a lot in life. He feels very guilty about himself. He spent a solitary life but meets a friend called Darryl. Darryl is a young boy whom Socrates had always advised. He stays in a 2 roomed house in poverty after searching for a job for a long time. He believes that the life of a black person is a life of struggle. By their very nature, black people are meant to be strong and resilient. In reality, however, they are always overpowered by the whites. He saw the dedication of Darryl when Daryl shot and killed a rooster. He always advised Darryl about good morals and to always be strong as a Blackman. He, however, hated the police and always defended the people against the police.
What makes Sammy run? Budd Schulberg, 1990
“I thought of him as a mangy puppy in a dog eats dog world. I was modulating my hate for Sammy Glick from the personal to the societal… I no longer even hated Rivington Street but the idea of Rivington Street, all Rivington Streets of all nationalities allowed to pile up in cities like gigantic dung heaps smelling up the world, ambitions growing out of the filthy and crawling away like worms.”
This quote, from the book “What makes Sammy run”, is a portrayal of the theme of dedication by a young Jewish man who beats all odds and becomes a producer in Hollywood. Sammy comes from a poor background and is exposed to a lot of racism on the grounds that he is a Jew. He defies being limited by the society and forces his way to success. The manner in which Sammy in described in the above quotes represents the life of a very desperate man. But later on he makes success. The only problem is that people have never understood why Sammy is so resilient. The theme of the whole book, however, is dedication and resilience.
The day of the Locust by Nathaniel West, 2013
“Yet, despite his appearance, he was a very complicated young man with a whole set of personalities, one inside the other like a nest of Chinese boxes.” The day of the Locust, 2013
This quote represents ambition. The general theme that unfolds in this book is ambition. We see some people who are too ambitious for life that they end up being disappointed. The nest of Chinese boxes refers to the great dreams that a young man possesses. It is a story of dedication. Tod and Homer are the main characters who bring out these themes. The bad thing is that none of them achieved their desired dreams, and they ended up being disappointed in life. It is a book that shows the dedication of the people at a time of depression and economic instability in Los Angeles. Tod also creates a painting called “Burning Loss Angels” where he says that despite a belief that people who travel to Los Angeles seek death, he chose to make a living. People always thought Hollywood was the greatest employer, but riots and violence occur in Hollywood, destroying everything and leaving people unemployed. The theme is one of depression.
Launching at the Ritzmore, Chester Himes, 1973
“I believed what several people had told me that, namely, that the Baltimore had no discrimination…” Chester Himes, Lunching at the Ritz more.”
This quote presents a confirmation that there is no discrimination in Los Angeles and in America in general. The discrimination based on color is a theme that runs through the book. The story revolved around three people, one white and employed, another white but in college and the third person being a black man roaming around. The manner in which the African American is depicted in the book as just walking around Los Angeles demonstrates the black people as being lazy, while white people are being hardworking. The book, however, tries to portray Los Angeles as a discrimination-free city. We see an African American student marching into a hotel of his choice and ordering the food of his choice. This brings out a theme of equality and togetherness in Los Angeles.
In conclusion, indeed, Los Angeles has a rich culture of diversity, togetherness, brotherliness, and self-respect. Despite the various allegations of racism, the above mentioned works depict the industrious nature of Los Angeles where people are committed to making their dreams come true. They cherish self-respect and love. Though the city suffers a lot of depression and riots, it has managed to stand tall as a great city. Indeed, Los Angeles has a lot of literature reflecting its diverse culture.
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