Soto's Black Hair Essay -- Soto Black Hair Essays
Soto Black Hair Essays - Soto's Black Hair ..
Gary Soto was born in Fresno, California on April 12th, 1952, to Manuel and Angie Soto. His parents, like many other Mexican Americans, worked in San Joaquin Valley, the agricultural region surrounding Fresno. These jobs included picking crops such as oranges and cotton, or working in local businesses. Many of these jobs were very dangerous, and when Gary Soto was just five years old, his father Manuel was killed in an accident while working for the Sunmaid Raisin Company. In later interviews, Soto claimed that this was one of the most devastating moments of his life. With his mother Angie as the sole caretaker of Gary and his two siblings, his family was forced to move to a rough neighborhood, or Barrio, in the industrial sector of Fresno. Growing up in this area, Soto formed many of the experiences that would later be reflected in his work.
Discussion of themes and motifs in Gary Soto's Black Hair
While living in Fresno, Angie Soto and her parents picked up odd jobs to sustain the family. Even this was not enough, and eventually Gary and his siblings began working in industrial and agricultural jobs. Gary’s job distracted from his studies, and soon Gary was pulling a D average in school. Although he may have spent more time chasing girls than studying, this period of Soto’s life was when he discovered the works of Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vernes, and other prominent literary figures. Soto went on to attend California State University, where he applied his passion in literature to receive a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in creative writing. Clearly, the educational disparity and poverty Soto felt while growing up in the Fresno barrio was not enough to stop him from engrossing himself in literature, setting himself up to be one of the greatest contemporary writers of our time.