We The Animals Analysis

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As best stated by Paul Alster, “ the truth of the story lies in the details.” When it comes to novels, the reader must partake in a close reading to get to the nitty gritty of what is trying to be said by the author and/or characters of that novel. We The Animals, by Justin Torres, is the perfect example of such a novel. There were endless messages linked throughout the novel linking story lines to one another from beginning to end. However, it is not as easy, ad the reader, to such details because Torres constantly withholds information from the audience. He did not want to easily give up the information, instead he would leave context clues for the reader to pick up on. I had to reread the novel over and over to understand the meanings behind…show more content…
As explained in the passage, the brothers are White and Puerto Rican –mutts as their Paps would say; creating a link to animal imagery. According to the narrator, “[they] tried to see what separated [Paps] from [them],” the children had no true sense of who they were (Torres 10). The only identity they knew of was the collective identity of their brotherhood. Since the beginning of the novel the brothers referred to themselves as “we”. Thus, they have shared the same feeling of identity and togetherness. However, in “Heritage”, it was up to them, the brothers, to differentiate themselves as individuals and how they identified themselves in comparison to their father. It is ironic that Torres would choose to title this chapter Heritage, yet the characters knew nothing about their own. There was a barrier between their feelings and their actions; they could not naturally assimilate to Paps’ heritage the way they wanted…show more content…
Torres used specific words to convey the emotions of how they boys felt concerning their heritage; they felt outside of the loop. Therefore, they did not know what they belonged to or why they did or did not belong to certain groups. Their physical traits did not add up to the traits that they were trying to identify with –the Hispanic heritage. Yet, they wanted to find a way to belong. Furthermore, the theme also contributed to the identity aspect of the characters. Through their diction, readers, like myself, were able to draw important subject maters. Following word choice and themes, Torres applied various amounts of literary devices to drive the message home, consequently enabling readers to understand the point of the passage, without giving up more information than needed. Close reading this particular passage gave me a better appreciation for what authors write, how they interpret their emotions, and how they execute their
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