Los Angeles Notebook by Didion

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  • Topic: Sundowner, Santa Ana winds, Wind
  • Pages : 2 (545 words )
  • Download(s) : 729
  • Published : February 8, 2010
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Is it possible that in this literal, close-minded, needy world that a grace of Santa Ana wind can over power our body with distress and depression? Joan Didion’s masterfully composed essay, Los Angeles Notebook, conveys her view on the Santa Ana winds. Didion argues that a gentle touch of the wind will rapidly have one fall into a coma of distress and despair.

Entering the season of Santa Ana winds, local residents brace themselves. Citizens become cautious and fearful with their lives when facing “something uneasy in the Los Angeles air…some unnatural stillness, some tension.” When the winds make their stealthy presence people become afflicted by it. Didion’s intellectual diction expresses exactly this. She uses these specific words; “uneasy”, “unnatural stillness”, and “tension” to describe the wind and stir up the reader’s emotion making them aware and awed by the situation. Didion draws one in by setting up the story with something abnormal that is bound to happen. These chosen words to depict air, ironically, are the opposite of how air is portrayed in society. Air is something calm and gentle that we routinely inhale; it is our life long companion.

Having to live in the condition of dry, torturous wind will make it impeccably impossible for one to stay composed. One can only absorb so much of the Santa Ana winds and overflowing that limit will cause chaos, “the Pacific turned out ominously glossy during a Santa Ana period, and one woke in the night troubled…by the eerie absence of surf.” Didion’s sophisticated choice of words leads to the vivid images she sets in our mind such as the irresistibly delicious ocean water. She introduces us to the few symptoms of Santa Ana winds. We are tempted to dive into the soothing ocean and glide on the gentle waves. But once night creeps up, the waves rest and sleep, which make people irritable. The contagious wind has the ability to sneak up on one and motivate them to do things they wouldn’t consider in years,...
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