Digging In The Trash Analysis

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Environment affects everyone from the time they are born. A person’s environment dictates how they talk, learn, act, and so much more. It molds people into who they become. James Baldwin and David Joy both point this out in their stories “Sonny’s Blues” and “Digging in the Trash”. Both stories talk about what the narrators lived through, how they and others viewed their situation, and how it ultimately affected people.…show more content…
When the narrator was describing the place he lived the first thing he said was “We live in a housing project” (Baldwin 448). He goes on to say that, though it may be newer, it was the same place as where he and Sonny grew up. He tries to explain that even though everything seems to be progressing and getting better it really is not. Those are the same streets that they grew up on and all the same things are happening. The narrator calls them “... the vivid, killing streets of our youth” (Baldwin 447) meaning that just because you clean the place up and make it look nice, it is still the same underneath all of it. Because of all the wickedness, the residence of the community did not think very highly of the individuals in it. When the narrator was watching a group of teenage boys from his class he thought “These boys, now, were living as we’d been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities” (Baldwin 445). This man was a teacher who was talking down about his students instead of lifting them. He was doing this because he knew that no matter what he did for those kids they were still going to be consumed by the evil around them. The narrator and Sonny’s father knew all about the evil having experienced it himself. When their mom talked about moving to a safer neighborhood their father would say “Ain’t no place safe for kids nor…show more content…
When Joy was talking about his father he said “Some of his earliest memories are in a one-bedroom shack he called the rat house…” (Joy). Joy goes on to say that his dad was scared to sleep because of fear of the rats. The New York Times reviewed one of Joy’s novels and said “a pitiless novel about a region blessed with nature but reduced to desolation and despair” (Joy). This comment shows that just because a place is beautiful does not mean that everything is perfect. People can seem to have everything in place but in reality everything is crashing. Everyone on the outside thinks everything is going well but their world is collapsing around them. People outside of the South do not really know the hardships of living in rural areas. When talking about one of his books, Joy said “The Associated Press praised the pacing and prose, and noted how trailers and churches dot my landscape” (Joy). They were so surprised at the number of both trailers and churches that they took note of it but Joy himself knew what it looked like. Some people are fascinated by the way of life in the South but some are not. A reviewer looking at one of Joy’s novels commented, “leave the peeling trailers, come down out of the hollers, and try writing about people for a change” (Joy). The reviewer does not think highly of people who live in trailers. He does not understand that these are real people with real problems. When Joy
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