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Santoyo, J.


Overall—how did you experience the book while reading it? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, or irritate, you?

posted May 26, 2010, 8:38 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com

    When I barely started reading, Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min, I felt immediately intruiged.  As soon as chapter starts, the first paragraph quickly draws me in, it states "She learns pain early.  When she is four, her mother comes to bind her feet.  The mother tells the child that she cannot afford to wait any longer.  She promises that afterwards, after the pain, the girl will be beautiful.  She will get to marry into rich family where she doesn't have to walk but will be carried around in a sedan chair. The three-inch lotus feet are a symbol of prestige and class." (5) This ritual in the chinese culture quickly drew me in because of the fact that to them a sign of beauty and class ment that the women had to go through horrible pain to get their feet a certain shape and size.  I found it fascinating. Throughout the book Madame Mao (main character) talks about this ritual and how eventually she can't stop the pain and tells her own mother that she won't continue with this or else she'll commit suicide.  Just learning about the chinese culture and their customes fascinated me and brought my attention to continue reading.

posted Apr 14, 2010, 4:07 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 4:14 PM ]

The gangs aboard the trains are portrayed in both a positive and negative light. How?

posted Apr 14, 2010, 3:32 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com

The gangs aboard the trains are portrayed in both a positive and negative light. How?
 
  The gangs on the trains are both portrayed in both a positive and negative light throught the novel Enrique's Journey.  The author uses their actions to show it.  For example the author Sonia Nazario mensions that the gangsters on the train tops only go there to steal from the migrants, she says "Moreover, the Mara Salvatrucha street gangsters, some deported from Los Angeles, always prowl the train tops looking for sleepers.  Many MS gangsters settle in Chiapas after commiting crimes in the United States and being expelled to their home countries in Central America... They rob migrants riding the trains.  Migrants, who are often afraid to press charges, make ideal victims." (83) This would be a negative thing about the gangsters, because they are really up to no good and are only looking to steal and mistreat the migrants.  I don't believe that the gangs aboard the freight trains do portray a positive side, because the author keeps mentioning the gang violence between rivals and how the gangs solve their problems by simlpy killing someone.

Do any of the characters do things you think are good or bad? What do they do? Why do you think this is good or bad?

posted Apr 14, 2010, 2:49 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com

 In the novel Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario, I strongly believe that the main character does both good and bad things throughout the story.  Enrique while on his path to the United States starts using inhalants and eventually becomes very addicted to it.  This later leads to him using drugs like marijuana and has even become an alcoholic. The author says, "Enrique has never returned to his low: sniffing glue.  Now, a few days before christmas, twenty-two months after he left Honduras, beer and marijuana are no longer enough.  He ends the workday by pouring a little paint thinner into an empty pepsi can.  He brings it home.  He does the same thing the next night.  The thinner doesn't give him as good a high as Honduran glue, but it's handy." (209-210)  This shows how addicted the main character truly became throughout the book.  Another thing that Enrique does that is bad is that he disrespects his own mother, it states "Enrique drinks more and more beer.  Their fights are often sparked by Lourdes's advice:  Don't drink and drive.  Control your vices.  Be more fugal.  You can't spend $1,000 as if it were $10. 'look, son' she begins.  Enrique cuts her off. 'All you do is yap, yap, yap!  You keep sticking your nose into things that are none of your business!' "  This shows how Enrique doesn't care about his own mother's thoughts.  Those are the reasons why I believe the main character does bad things.

What is/are the author(s) trying to tell you in the book?

posted Apr 13, 2010, 5:10 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com

    In the book Enrique's Journey, by Sonia Nazario, the author is trying to show the readers the dangers and hardships that an immigrant goes throught to get to the United States. In this case she shows what a young boy went through to get to his mother.  On pages 88-89 Nazario shows how deadly and risky it is to even get on a freight train in order to get to there destination, "At a rate of nearly one every other day, the Red Cross estimates, U.S.-bound Central American migrants who ride the freight trains lose arms, legs, hands, or feet... It does not count those who die instantly when they are cut in half or decapitated." The author continues talking about how these accidents occur, for example when a migrant is sleeping, they easily roll off the train and they are left severely injured or dead.  Another hardship that the migrants go through is the gangs who steal, beat and even rape the migrants. On page 83 the narrator states, "ten or twenty board the train, armed with machetes, knives, bats,lead pipes, and pistols.  When the train gains speed, they sorround a group of migrants.  They tell them: hand over your money or die." Because of this I strongly believe that the author was trying to show/tell the reader what kind of environment a migrant has to live through in order to get to the United States.

Book Questions

posted Mar 1, 2010, 8:34 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com

    How do you feel when reading the book? Why did you feel this way?
 
    When I was reading They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky  I felt many things.  But overall I felt sad for the characters, there stories impacted me in a big way.  The authors exposed what everyone was going through and how hard it was during this time period.  The book showed the hardships that every child endured and how difficult it was to survive.  In the novel I came across a quote and it states "We prepared our camp on the Ethiopian riverbank in tall grasses infested by buzzing mosquitos and tetse flies. The weather was tranquil and everything was quiet except fot the murmuring of fifty thousand refugees, the smell of cooking fires and the wailing of infants.  The situation seemed safe; we only wondered what we would eat." (137)  This quote showed that the kids were constantly looking for a safe place to stay at, even if the conditions were horrible, overcrowded and infested with bugs. Something that was always on their minds was if they were going to eat or not, because food was very hard to come by.  I felt sad for them because of everything they went through at the age they were at.  I also tried to put myself in their situation and asked myself if I would be able to survive.

I am Jonathan! Mexicool:D

posted Feb 18, 2010, 12:45 PM by raging_thrasher@yahoo.com   [ updated Feb 18, 2010, 1:17 PM ]

  Dude, wat up!!! My name is Jonathan Santoyo and I am 17 years old.  I love music, its my life! I listen to a variety of music ranging from Brutal Death Metal to Old School Rap.  My favorite band is Metallicahttp://www.metallica.com. They rock! I started listening to them when I was in third grade.  Many could say that they inspired me to pick up a guitar.  I have been playing the guitar for about five years now, and I have covered many of their songs including the famous master of puppets and enter sandman.  I also compose my own songs.  The songs I have composed so far are very strange, for the plain fact that some of them could start very fast and heavy and they could end up being soft and touchy in the end. Well leaving that aside, my future plans are to get a masters degree in Kinesiology.  Which is the study of human movement.  Through this you can become a physical therapist to a weight trainer.  But what I really want in life is to become a rock star! I like the feeling you get when you play in front of a huge crowd cheering for you.  When i was a child i had a fever. My hands felt like two balloons. Now I've got that feeling once again.  I can't explain. You would not understand.  This is not how I am, thats my story. 

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