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Always Running-Luis J. Rodriguez

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Gina Leo

on 6 May 2011

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Transcript of Always Running-Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. Rodriguez Themes Author of "Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Summary Violence
Poverty "Always Running" is a memoir
written to caution Rodriguez's
son about the dangers of gang
life. Always Running "Always Running" Memoir of Rodriguez's childhood
and teen years. Living in poverty
Rodriguez turned to a life of gangs,
drugs, and violence. The story first focuses on Rodriguez's times in the gangs, from getting
involved with gangs in elementary school, getting his first tattoo in
middle school, and getting kicked out of high school. The second half of the story focuses on Rodriguez's return to
high school and how he overcame the life of drugs and
violence imposed on him at such a young age. He has also written
collections of poetry,
Fiction stories, and
children's books. Always Running Quotes " But on those days the perils came out too-
you could see it it the faces of the street warriors, in the play of children , too innocent to know what lurked about, but often the first to fall during a gang war or family scuffle"
( Rodriguez ). Video about the author and his work Author Background Luis J. Rodriguez was born in 1954. He
grew up in East L.A. and was involved
in gangs from a young age. He began
writing in his teen years. Much of this
early writing became "Always Running".
He currently runs Tía Chucha Press, to
publish emeging poets. Because of his
former involvment in gangs, he has made
court apperances to testify in cases that
involve gangs. He has appeared on The
Oprah Winfrey Show among many
other television apperarences. Influences and early works While the high school Rodriguez
attended was inadequate to the
needs of the Chicano students, he
still considders some of his teachers
as positive encouragement toward
his writing. Rodriguez's first book, "Poems
Across the Pavement was published
in 1989. This book won the Poetry
Center Book Award from San
Francisco State University. Education For a brief period of time Rodriguez
attended Cal State College. Later he was
unable to continue with his college courses
and began to work. Eventually he began
to attend night courses at East Los Angeles
Community College. He began to work for various Los Angeles newspapers. That same year he attended the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at UC Berkeley. Involvment in gangs Rodriguez began stealing at age 7. He
Joined a gang when he was 11 and
began using drugs a year later. By age
18 he faced a 6-year prison sentence.
He was addicted to heroin and 25 of
his friends had died due to the barrio
gang life. However, Rodriguez turned
his life around. "Always Running" tells
of his stuggle in the gangs and some of
his recovery from that way of life. "I felt disjointed,
out of balance,
tired of acting and reacting.
I wanted to flirt with depth
of mind, to
learn more about my world"
( Rodriguez 113). Should This book be included in
a high school's curriculum? The anwser to this question is . Due to mature content the
book would be read in older grade levels, such as junior or senior year. yes The author of the book really knows what he's talking about because he experienced all of the things that happened in the book first hand. The book was written to persuade a teenager to not get involved with gangs. This book provides an inside look at the violence faced by teenagers living in impoverished areas. "He didn't need to act bad to
operate. He could be strong,
Intelligent and in control
was the kind of dude who could get
the best from the system education,
karate training" (Rodriguez 113). "I looked up to him, but not as a big brother.
He was someone who could influence me without judging me morally or telling me what to do. He listened, and when he knew you were wrong, before he would say anything, he would get you to think"
( Rodriguez 113). The book makes the reader realize how lucky they are to grow up in a
safe neighborhood. The reader also realizes the unfortunate fate of
those who choose to the live the gang lifestyle, and many of
Rodriguez's friends die. "Being a snitch or giving in" (Rodriguez 113-114). This book has been controversial, and in 1999 was
on the American Library Association's list of the 100
most censored books in the United States. It is
truely a book that makes the reader think. "There are choices you have
to make not just once, but
everytime they come up "
(Rodriguez 132). I started to feel tears beneath my eyes, but I wouldn't let them fall"
( Rodriguez 130). "I also learned not to be angry with my father. I learned something about my father's love, which he never expressed in words, but instead, at great risk, he gave me the world of books - a gift for a lifetime" (Rodriguez 139). Themes color codes Violence Poverty Family Discrimination Luis -Narrator Chente Ramírez-Community activist
Rano - Brother Alfonso-Father
Maria Estela- Mother "'Do it!' were the words I recalled before I plunged the screwdriver into flesh and bone, and the sky screamed" (Rogriguez 111). "We're tired. Every time we try to better ourselves,
we're told to wait, to hold on, that things will get
better. But it never does!" (Rodriguez 179). "Open windows and door served
as air conditioners, a slight relief
from the summer desert air. Chicken coops graced many a back yard along with broken auto parts. Roosters crowed the morning to birth and an occasional goat peered from weather-worn picket fences along with the millions of dogs which seemed to populate the neighborhood" (Rodriguez 17). Viviana - Member of rival gang and friend of Rodriguez "Go ahead and kill us, we're already dead" (Rodriguez 247) Chicharrón - fellow gang member and freind of Rodriguez Evaluation Of "Always Running" Effective? Why or why not? Criteria Thought Provoking Writting Technique Yes Yes The way his words flow from page to page. The reader realizes how
lucky they are to live the life
they live. Characters Themes Yes Yes "'You have to work now, to help us out here,' Mama said. 'You're a big man now. There's got to be something you can do.' We had just moved to South San Gabriel. I was nine years old - a good working age, as far as my mother was concerned; she had picked cotton at the age of nine in South Texas" (Rodriguez 67-68). All characters are well put
together and brutally real. The themes of this book can
be seen even by the most
casual reader.
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