Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Michael Waskiewicz Reading Analysis

In the article "Serving Up Hope" and the story "B. Tavern Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca" share a similar theme.  Both of these stories share the same theme of unity with the surrounding community.
"Serving Up Hope" is an article about a husband and wife, the Sampsons, who have gone above and beyond in order to help recovering drug addicts.  They opened up a deli and used it as a training ground to help a few people who they had met get rid of their drug habit.  Jennifer Brock and Tyrone Lewis, who met the Sampsons through contacts at a local recovery program, were hired to work at their deli.  Lewis met the Sampsons right after he relapsed in his effort to kick his drug habit.  He had previously had a love of cooking, which he developed from his great-grandmother.  He had worked in a few restaurants previously but his drug habit had held him back from getting a better job.  The Sampsons gave Lewis the final push to stay clean by giving him a second chance.  Jennifer Brock is another former drug addict who has a similar story.  The Sampsons use the Dogwood Deli as a place to train former drug users and convicts in skills that will give them all a second chance, and help them launch careers of their own.  This goes hand in hand with the Jesuit values of being men and women for others.  The Sampsons are giving up a lot in order to take the time to train former drug users and convicts to give them the skills in order to start careers on their own.  They show a close connection with their community by offering this service to people who have made so many mistakes in their lives.
"B. Traven Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca" is a story about the author, Rudolfo A. Anaya, who travels to Mexico to look for inspiration to write a story.  He is having a lot of trouble finding inspiration for his book, but is looking very hard to find a good story to write.  He spends a lot of his time with Justino, the jardinero of his friends garden where he is staying.  He looks around, almost too hard, for a story to write, until the end of the story when he is at a gathering that is being held in his honor.  He ran into a man who he could not tell was German or Norwegian.  He was talking to the man about the story that he was trying to write.  The man said to him "a writer's job is to find and follow people like Justino.  They're the source of life.  The ones you have to keep away from are the dilettantes like the ones in there" (pg 66).  He was referring to all of the literary men.  He said that it is important to stay with the people who understand the decent of their culture because they have stories to tell about it, not to just listen to the people who have studied the culture over and over again in books.  This shows a unity with the surrounding community that characters like Justino have.  He may not be the smartest man in Mexico, but he knows a lot about the culture because that is what is important to him, and he pays attention to that.
Both of these stories share the similar theme of being united with the community.  "Serving Up Hope" shows the closeness that the Sampsons had with their surrounding community by how they gave former drug addicts and convicts a second chance at being successful in life.  "B. Tavern is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca" shows the oneness that many Mexicans, no matter how little educated they are, still are very connected with their culture.  Both of these stories connect to the Jesuit values of being connected with the community that surrounds us, and giving back to it at the same time.

No comments: