When it comes to having the perfect life, or the model environment, some individuals can say it does not exist. Families of minority, constantly struggle and dream of the scenario where they do not have to worry about finding work and keeping food on their tables. Gary Soto, author of “Looking for Work”, proves that minority families constantly hope of being apart of the all famous “American Dream” and trying to fit in.
“Looking for Work” by Gary Soto is focused on a nine year old boy, named like himself, who lives with just his mother, his brother Rick and his sister Deb. He knows his situation all to well and still tries to live as a “normal” boy. Gary is watching tv and he sees a show named “Father Knows Best”. He notices that the characters in the tv show are well mannered and simple, which makes him want to change his family to the same as the ones on television.
He goes to his mother and states that he wants to wear shoes at dinner and then runs out and tries to find work such as him “raking leaves”. At first, readers may think that nine year old Gary wants to do all of these things because he wants live the dream life but instead we see that he wants to fit in and be liked by white people. He states that maybe if they were more likeable and sweet that white people would not hate him and his family so much and they may invite him to their houses.Soto is trying to argue that this vision of the perfect family ruins the mindset of little kids and makes them think that what they have is not enough because it is not picture perfect. One can say that this vision of the kindness and smiles along with the friendliness, toys with the minds of the kids of today and makes them want to reach for such unbelievable standards and ruin them in the long run when it comes to morals, values, and the social chain of command. Soto uses the language and tone of a first and third person point of view story to get his point across because then it seems as if the reader is taking a step into a child’s mind. The more the reader can connect with the main character, the better it is to get the reader on the same page with the author and his gist.
The line that makes this text specifically is the conversation between nine year old Gary, Deb, and Rick, where they ask him why he wants to change the family routine so bad and he states, “I tried to convince them that if we improved the way we looked we might get along better in life. White people would like us more. They might invite us to places, like their homes or front yards. They might not hate us so much.”(Soto lines 25-27). This make a big impact on the article because it can tend to hit home and start to touch on the real aspect of the melting pot. Children of color and/or minority dream of fitting in and trying to be “good enough” in society’s standards but they have to struggle and strive to even scratch the surface.
It may be hard to try to reach the same point as others, when they have had the upper hand and already feel like they are entitled to whatever they please.