Analysis Of Joan Didion 's ' The Great Gatsby ' Essay

Analysis Of Joan Didion 's ' The Great Gatsby ' Essay

Length: 867 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

California did not only promise prosperity for those who came searching during the Gold Rush in the 1800s nor did it simply provide security for those who fled the Great Plains to escape the Dust Bowl in the Dirty Thirties, but it offered a fresh start to those who were ambitious enough to arrive decades, centuries after; for ones who craved the California Dream just because they desired more. As Joan Didion, author of memoir Where I Was From, stated, “They did not come west for homes and security, but for adventure and money.” (23).
My grandparents, both born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a small Canadian town over North Dakota, illustrate the classic teenage couple of the 1950s; think Sandy and Danny of “Grease.”  Married in 1954, they would go on to have four children in “The Peg,” my mother being number three.   My grandfather was a plasterer in the summer and, due to the heavy snowstorms and bitter cold weather, was a taxi driver in the winter. In 1964, my grandfather decided to become business partners with his good friend, move to Southern California, and start a plastering business of their own since the weather did not permit the type of business in Canada.
When my grandfather proposed this idea to my grandmother, her reply was, “Sure, why not?”, which was surprising considering she would be leaving two sisters and her mother behind; my grandfather would be leaving four brothers, a sister, his father, and his mother, who thought all of her grandchildren would become Hollywood actors. They loaded their lives on a moving truck and made the journey through North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada in a dingy brown 1959 Ford Station Wagon featuring wood panelling on its sides.  
It took them five days to reach The Gol...


... middle of paper ...


...anhole cover while trying to retrieve her brother’s baseball that went down the sewer drain. That manhole cover, sill visible on the street, anchors memories of that home, that new beginning.  
My grandfather still lives in this house until this day.  It’s paint color has been untouched, though spruced up, and the brick porch is now crumbling from age. The plaque he was awarded by the plasterers’ union hangs on the wall and treasures from my grandmother’s and his Canadian past are scattered around the house. If my grandparents hadn’t been brave enough to leave all that they had known in Manitoba, their lives, as well as their children’s, would have been drastically different. Didion elaborated on this by explaining, “It would be easy for us to sit back and enjoy the result of the past. But we can’t do this. We can’t stop and become satisfied and content.” (17).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Joan Didion's Essay Los Angeles Notebook

- Joan Didion's Essay "Los Angeles Notebook"      The Santa Ana winds cause people to act more violently or unruly and makes others irritable and unhappy to a great extent. Joan Didion explains to the reader about how the Santa Ana affects human behavior in her essay “Los Angeles Notebook.” Through the use of imagery, diction, and selection of detail Didion expresses her view of the Santa Ana winds.      Didion paints uneasy and somber images when describing the Santa Ana winds. “There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air… some unnatural stillness, some tension,” starts the essay off with the image of Los Angeles people in a sense of stillness or tense....   [tags: Didion Los Angeles Notebook Essays]

Better Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

Analysis of Joan Didion’s Essay, On Going Home

- While reading Joan Didion’s essay “On Going Home” one may be reminded of a sense of home and family. In this essay Didion recreates the feeling one gets when one visits a place from the past or while reminiscing about fond memories. This memory is marked by the reflective thought about the ability to be able to pass this same sense on to another. Didion’s “On Going Home” is like a flood of warm memories leaving you with a single reflective thought. The way she uses description in this essay and the flow of events is very similar to the way that memories rush in when one returns to a familiar place from one’s past....   [tags: Family]

Better Essays
478 words (1.4 pages)

Analysis Of Joan Didion 's ' Play It As It Lays ' Essay

- For some people, the meaning of life is to be a good parent. When a parent loses a child for a moment or a lifetime, the pain that comes with is unbearable. Some people lose control of his or her entire life due to the loss of loved ones. The ability to gain control over life is tough because of the emotional and sometimes physical obstacles. While there is a meaning to life for some people, others feel as if there is no hope to live after losing a child. In Joan Didion’s novel, Play It as It Lays, Maria exhibits a lack of identity and the struggle to regain control over her life is shown through her journey to be with her daughter Kate....   [tags: Meaning of life, Life, Anxiety]

Better Essays
1453 words (4.2 pages)

`` On Going Home, By Joan Didion Essay

- Too many of us family is the most important thing in our life. They will always be there for us when we need them, there our backbone. In Joan Didion 's “On Going Home” she tries to explain to us what family to her is. What I think she wanted to tell us was that family is supposed to be sacred but there are circumstance where it may become a burden or you might have to distance yourself from them. Once she left home her life changed drastically, she now has to worry about her marriage, raising her daughter, and dealing with her family....   [tags: Marriage, Family, Wife, Husband]

Better Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

Goodbye For All That By Joan Didion Essay

- Goodbye to all that “Goodbye to all that” is a captivating story of young women and the journey she takes to identify who she is. Through the expressive writing by Joan Didion, the emotions in this text are truly tangible. Didion writes from her own experience as a young writer living her dream of being in New York City. Throughout her story there is miscommunication and through each obstacle, she grows as a person, learns what priorities are important, and overall she finds herself. I find this very appealing because everyone can relate to a life changing experience and reflect on how it changed you....   [tags: New York City, New York, Change, Emotion]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

Joan Didion's On Morality Essay

- Morality is, in essence, subjugated by he who defines it. This being the case, morality (defined as right or wrong, good or evil) is malleable as long as it does not impede upon any “ipso facto virtue';(Didion). In the essay “On Morality';, by Joan Didion, this aspect ‘on morality’ is composed. This will be utilized to verify that William Saroyan’s (author of “Five Ripe Pears) guilt of an immoral action is conflicting given specified conditions....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
677 words (1.9 pages)

Essay The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

- The Year of Magical Thinking is Joan Didion’s account of the year following the death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. The book shows how she attempts to cope with the grief of the death of her husband while tending to her daughter’s, Quintana, severe illness. In the book Didion does something, which might seem abnormal to some people. While Didion is cleaning out her husband’s closet at work she cannot find herself throwing away her husband’s shoes because “he would need shoes if he was to return” (Didion)....   [tags: memoir, story review]

Better Essays
533 words (1.5 pages)

Analysis Of The Articles ' Why I Write, By Joan Didion And George Orwell

- What is writing. This is a question that is rarely discussed among people. I believe that most people have written something at least once in their lifetime. Yet if asked this question, no one can undoubtedly explain what the word “writing” means. To me, writing is a way to express your feelings on paper. In the articles “Why I write” by Joan Didion and George Orwell, each author expresses a different opinion on what good writing is. Orwell states that a good author should not put his/her personality into their writings, “And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one 's own personality” (Orwell 5)....   [tags: Writing, Writer, Creative writing, Writing process]

Better Essays
1937 words (5.5 pages)

"Why I Write" by George Orwell and Joan Didion Essay

- There are many aspects for my mind to conceive while reading the articles why I write by George Orwell and Joan Didion. There are many different factors in triggering an author’s imagination to come up with what they want to write, and why they want to write it. In most writings a purpose is not found before the writer writes, but often found after they decide to start writing. It is fascinating to me to read the articles “Why I Write,” by George Orwell and Joan Didion. These authors touch on so many different topics for their reasons to writing....   [tags: Article Review]

Better Essays
826 words (2.4 pages)

Poetry from Linda Thomas and Joan Didion on The Santa Ana Wind Essay

- ... Brush Fire was written to shed a new light on the Santa Ana wind, and perhaps persuade newer residents of Southern California to have a more positive outlook on the winds. Both authors used syntax to help convey their purpose. Thomas and Didion both used simple and complex sentence structures interchangeably in different parts of their essays to make the audience react differently. When Didion explains the “unnatural stillness” of Los Angeles, implying that the winds are coming, she follows a long, descriptive sentence about the winds with a simple, powerful sentence explaining how the natives know the winds are coming; she simply states, “we know because we feel it.” This makes the rea...   [tags: fire, tone, imagery]

Better Essays
813 words (2.3 pages)