Looking for Work; A Summary
Gary Soto’s “Looking for Work” in Rereading America tells the story of himself as a 9 year old Hispanic child who wants his family to be more like the traditional nuclear family that he sees on TV. The picture perfect family in his mind consists of: the parents loving each other, kids obeying their parents and the family living in a nice mansion. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of his life. Money is an important part of creating his ideal family so in Soto’s mind he knew that he would have to be rich in order to possess a perfect family.
For example, on pg.29 "The father looks on in his suit. The mother, decked out earrings and a pearl necklace, cuts into her steak and blushes. After watching this scene on TV, Gary wanted his family to be like the family in that show. He saw the happiness in the TV family as they ate dinner and wanted his own family to feel that same feeling. In addition, he later compares his family to that of the TV family. On p.29, "Our own talk at the table was loud with belly laughs and marked by our pointing forks at one another." He grew up learning differently that of another child who grows up in a traditional nuclear family.
In the case of Gary Soto in Looking for Work his family is defined by race and income rather than happiness and being a cohesive unit. Each member of the family play a particular role that helps to shape the author, almost as if acting a part on television. Through his experience growing up, Soto demonstrates that growing up at that particular time, envy was the great motivator."
In "Looking for Work" Gary wanted to imitate the Anglo families of the television programs that he continually watched. He tried to convince his siblings to wear shoes to dinner and improve their appearance so that "white people would like us more."
Looking for Work by Gary Soto captures everyone dreams in American. The dream of living in a beautiful house in a suburb, with green grass, 2...