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Looking for Work by Gary Soto

4 Pages 1058 Words May 2020

It is not unusual to want or strive for a perfect family, rich and problem-free, eating dinners in a two-parent home. In “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto, this ideal escalates while he is nine and poor living with his single mom and young siblings. While watching family sitcoms like Father Knows Best he decides that money is what he needs to have a life reflecting “the comfortable lives of white kids.”(Soto, 23). He so desperately wants to escape the everyday life he Attributes to his Mexican American heritage, and become a white kid in a rich family who has it all. Soto specifically recalls points in his life where he grew envious of the sitcom because they would have routine breakfasts complete with freshly squeezed orange juice. He then idolizes the lifestyle showcased on Leave it to Beaver because “there were no beatings no rift in the family.” (Soto, 24) This is ultimately an unrealistic presentation of a family due to the fact no family has nonexistent quarrels from time to time. Overall, the piece consists of a young boy who is easily influenced by what is seen on tv and is reflecting on the soon to be realized.
The interesting idea in the story is how the nine-year-old is drawn to such complex issues such as “the perfect family”. Whereas most kids his age could care less about social status, Gary was very aware of how his family was viewed. He seems to be jealous of his neighbor David king, who was the only kid he knew who “resembled the middle class.” Reading the story, I expected a conversation between the two to take place where the author would see the whole picture. Gary would explain his desires to the Catholic of Armenian and French descent, who would tell him that his family was also different from the ones on television. Or Soto looking back on his childhood, would be grateful for his working lower-class family upbringing and express that through the conclusion. Overall, I related to the short story...

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