Summary Of Joan Didion's Los Angeles Notebook

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Joan Didion’s “Los Angeles Notebook” is an essay that highlights the deeply mechanistic view of human behavior by using images that are both enticing, yet horrifying at the same time. Her audience is broader than the people of Los Angles, who she discusses in articulate detail. Being that her audience is generally aimed at people who are concerned about humanity and the way people operate together in certain scenarios. There is an eerie sense to this piece, as the subject is the hot winds known as foehn by scientists, but otherwise known as a “Santa Ana” by the people of the region. Didion claims that, in the simplest terms, “to live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior,”…show more content…
With the setting and details laid out in front of the reader, Didion performs a tone shift, about midway through her essay. What once was an ominous, eerie description of human behavior during extreme weather, transforms into a methodical, scientific recount of the foehn winds and their occurrences over time throughout history. Didion’s now practical, instructive tone addresses the reasoning behind the events partaking in Los Angeles, with diction such as “malevolent”, “leeward”, “mitigating”, and “mechanistic”.
Lastly, Joan Didion’s essay “Los Angeles Notebook” has a gratuitous effect on the reader. The entire purpose of the essay is to evaluate and deconstruct the effect of the environment on the human’s conscious and unconscious behavior. This is portrayed in a methodical fashion, with the recount of past experiences in the opening of the essay, and the scientific explanation and history in the latter portion. Diction plays a powerful role throughout this piece, promoting the negativity of the Santa Ana, and the mechanistic views of human
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