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End Luis Rodriguez Always Running Essay

The Life Of Luis J. Rodriguez As Told Through The Book Always Running: Gang Days In L.A

In the book Always Running La Vida Loco: Gang Days in LA by Luis J. Rodriguez, the author is the main character. He shows through his writings a remarkable amount of personal character development. From the beginning of his story Luis describes the many changes he goes through as his life unfolds. Luis uses many examples to describe his life experiences and the way he acted when obstacles stood in his way. Luis experienced many highs and lows throughout his life. He also had many wants and desires of things that were just out of his reach. These desires would haunt Luis and cause his character to negatively develop. In the beginning of his story, he was afraid of the world he lived in, but by the end of his story he wanted to put the world in his pocket.

In the beginning of the story, Luis has a very unstable life because his parents were constantly moving. There was not a stable place he could call home throughout his childhood. "For months we had been pushed from one house to another", Luis writes. This was his statement that shows his instability of early life. As he said pushed from one house to another, shows an underlying anger for moving. He was not in one neighborhood long enough to make friends. He had no one to turn to except for his parents and brother. His parents separated which also created this unstable life style.

Luis found himself in a white neighborhood with one move. "Look spic, you can't sit there", was a statement he heard by one white American woman in the Neighborhood Park. Also, not in being welcome in his new school helped to grow anger toward white America. Not being accepted in the country of his birth did nothing to help Luis build a strong confident character. This further aided in knocking down his self-esteem. It was a knockdown because Luis couldn't figure out why white people hated him and his family.

As Luis moved into adolescence, he began to hang with other Latinos in school. He felt more comfortable being with other like himself. Luis also writes about being more and more interested in girls. While in school a special girl helped to turn Luis toward gang life. She led Luis to believing he should become a gang member, and being a gang member was a good thing. While in school Luis saw a shooting and it fascinated him. "I...

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1. What do Luis's early memories reveal about his feelings toward his father?

Luis may not think highly of his father's parenting skills, according to this memory. Luis recounts the story that his half-sister, Seni, was left with her grandmother for so long that she didn't recognize her father when he returned.

2. How did Luis's family end up settling in Los Angeles?

After his parents were married, Luis's father was jailed for allegedly stealing money from the school where he worked as principal. He was eventually found innocent but vowed to leave the country. Luis says his mother never wanted to leave Mexico, but agreed to do so.

3. What was Luis's family's neighborhood and house like in Los Angeles?

The family settled in Los Angeles, in Watts. His first memories are that the family lived in a "matchbox of a place" on 105th Street in Watts.

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