Soto’s Eddie in Buried Onions: Running from Himself
When driving through Fresno, California it may seem like an ordinary, underclass city, but to Eddie Fresno is a prison he cannot escape. In Buried Onions Gary Soto describes the hardships and challenges of Eddie’s life. Eddie had grown up in the city of Fresno, one not known for its friendly people and wealth. Eddie is desperate to escape Fresno and his whole past, that he does not even realize that it is a part of him. Eddie tries to run away from Fresno, the gangs, and just the general people. It takes extensive time, but Eddie finally learns to accept his past and lives in harmony with it.
Fresno may not literally have a giant fence surrounding it, but to Eddie it might as well have for he cannot get away. The poverty of Fresno is in all places and even shown in the skeletal dogs. “Returning to my apartment, I stepped over winos, the homeless, and stray dogs with ladders of ribs poking through. Hunger, I saw, was crawling from one end of the street to the other” (100). The school, Holmes’ playground, and his apartment all play an important role in Eddie’s life. The school is where Eddie had grown up and where he used to join his old gang friends for naughty deeds. Holmes playground is the signature spot for the young gang members to hang out or for any kid who wants to goof off after school. Eddie’s apartment is tiny and dirty but it had been fitting for Eddie. Fresno has been Eddie’s personal hell and he did anything he could to escape.
It is no secret that many children who live in Fresno will end up in a gang. Eddie is no exception; but he tries, at least, to lead a respectable life. The gangs form more than just friendship and never like to lose a member. Eddie might have left the gang but they never left him, always watching and trying to steer him back to their rebellious ways. The younger gangs are made up of immature school children that irritate Eddie. He becomes more frustrated with them and...
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