Jimmy Santiago Baca's Coming Into Language

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“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” In the story “Coming Into Language” Jimmy Santiago Baca writes about him growing up in an empty environment and how him not making the right choices brought him a lot of hardships, but despite all that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Baca shows the reader how reading and writing changed how he grew as a person. He grew up into an adult and the tragedies he had to face in order to become one. Two years after being released from custody, he is arrested again on drug charges and receives a one million dollar bail. He uses his mind as a way to transcend from the actual reality of him being in a jail cell. Ever since Jimmy was young he was in, and out of jail roaming the streets of his neighborhood. Ever Since age 17, he worked graveyard shifts at St. Joseph’s hospital,“...mopping up pools of blood and carting plastic bags stuffed with arms, legs, and hands to the outdoor incinerator.” (pg.100). At age 17 he didn’t know how to read nor write. He writes in his book he was “Ashamed of not understanding and fearful of asking questions, I dropped out of school in the ninth grade.” (pg.100) Right away I feel I can relate to Baca. His backroom knowledge takes me back to my late middle school and high school days; I had challenges in math classes, yet I was fearful of…show more content…
“Through language I was free. I could respond, escape, indulge; embrace or reject earth or the cosmos.” (pg.103) He felt he had finally found his life purpose, but most importantly; he was free. Baca’s clear use of word choice to say he is locked into prison, and behind bars; he was free to express his opinion on anything he felt he was allowed to. Even if he felt that the Earth should be given the blame as if the planet is at fault he was given the freedom to write it and express his emotions in
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