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I'm supposed to be writing an essay and these are the instructions:

This semester you read several memoirs, including pieces by Ernesto Galarza and Russell Baker. Return to “Barrio Boy” and “No Gumption” now. How are these two memoirs similar? How are they different? In what ways are the authors’ choices and depictions related to the subject matter of their stories?

I'm not asking anyone to do it for me. I already did most of it. I only have one paragraph left. I'm only asking if someone could explain the last part for me. I'm not sure what they are asking of me. I would really appreciate it!


  • English - ,

    In what ways are the authors’ choices and depictions related to the subject matter of their stories?

    First of all, you need to be able to state clearly what you believe the "subject matter" of each story is.

    Once you have identified that for each story, then choose some descriptions of people or places, some places where he uses the characters' vernacular instead of always-perfect English, some places where he tells the readers a decision or two that the main character made -- all these need to fit with that story's "subject matter" -- and they all serve to prove your subject-matter sentence is true.

    I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you still have questions.

  • Enlish - ,

    Thank you! I understand now.

  • Enlish - ,

    Define subject matter. Is it the summary, a strange description, or what?! I am clueless here. :(

  • Enlish - ,

    The stories are different because in the story No Gumption the boy has to deliver newspapers because he was forced to in order to make money to help his family and he had to learn about hard work. While in Barrio Boy is an immigrant that moves to the United States of America during the revolutionary war. The immigrant needs to learn English also he and his family were very poor so was the economy at that time. The similarities between these two stories is because both boys must learn how to work hard as their families were poor along with the economy. At the end of both stories both of the boys find the jobs they needed and wanted for No Gumption rather than delivering the newspapers he writes the newspapers.
    The other boy in Barrio Boy learns how to speak English because his teacher helped him. Both No Gumption and Barrio Boy have the same conflicts and they both are written in first-person point of view and they also share some of the same values. Both of the boys lived in close time periods and were very poor. They went through a lot of tough times to get to where they got but at the end of No Gumption and Barrio Boy they completed a lot. Both of these stories are talking about young boys being very poor and trying to find work.
    The difference between these two boys and stories in No Gumption it talks about a boy who's mother does not want him to be like his father and wants him to gumption. As for Barrio Boy the young boy is an immigrant and it does not talk about his youth and getting a job like No Gumption. Instead it talks about him going to school to learn how to speak English. The authors chose to relate the subjects for example, this is reflected in the story and change the setting and the way the story feels.

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