Always Running by Luis Rodriguez is a thrilling memoir about a special event in his life in which he shared with his friend Tino: “Tino and I strolled past the stucco and wood-frame homes of the neighborhood consisting mostly of Mexicans with sprinkling of poor white families (usually from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas).” (39) The excerpt starts out by great and vivid description of the setting in which the story takes place. Luis says the name of the town in which he is in, South San Gabriel, and gives a brief description of the place and the people living there. It also tells a bit about the characters and how they could possibly be poor.
The autobiographical story was written in a superb way by the author that made me, as the reader, really enjoy the piece. The way he describes his little town, and the way he introduces his friend Tino into the story and the police officers is great and vivid. It easily allows the reader to visualize and imagine what is happening in the story. The story did end in a type of cliff-hanger which I was not too pleased about. However, the description and detail of the story was great.
The author narrates the story in a brilliant way by using many traits like surprise, suspense, and curiosity. Although, he does not identify his new characters like Tino and the police officers, he just puts them in the story.
He uses suspense and curiosity to keep the reader interested and hooked in the story. He talks about the surprising moment where the police officers came and started chasing Tino and Luis around the basketball court to try to catch them and put them in jail, or even worse. When the author states: “...Tino dropped the ball and ran. I heard the deputies yell for Tino to stop. One of them began climbing the fence. I decided to take off too” (40), it gives the reader a chill and would make them want more because they want to know what the police will do to the children.
The author gives a simple, but important description of his ‘partner in crime’, Luis, which describes him enough to give the reader and image of what Luis is like or looks like: “Tino’s lanky figure seemed to float across the court, as if he had wings under his thin arms.” (40) He clearly depicts Tino’s actions and behaviors like jumping the fence and not caring if Luis jumps also and joins him. The reader can now easily visualize the main character so they can understand the story better.
The author also shows the importance of his memoir by showing and not just telling the events. The description helps complete that. The overall description in the story is simple, but significant: “When the get a hold of us, the going to beat the crap out of us.” The author's diction explains the event that is happening in the story and how the characters react to it. He narrates the story in his own voice and sounds like himself. He writes the story with the purpose of portraying stereotypes and racism against the poor Mexicans living in San Gabriel.
This proves that they are treated badly even by the law enforcers in the town. This is where racism and stereotypes come in because it means that because the are Mexicans, it has to mean they are gang members or trouble-makers.
The most important trait is that Luis Rodriguez tells why the experience was memorable to him and why it meant so much to him. He remembers what he thought and how he felt at the time:“It never stopped, this running. We were constant prey, and the hunters soon became big blurs: the police, the gangs, the junkies, the dudes on Garvey Boulevard who took our money, all smudged into one.” (40) This shows how the police treated the Latinos living in San Gabriel. It shows that they were ruthless and abusive to them and did not treat them well.
I read the story the first time and I was very pleased with it. Even though the ending did meet my expectations, the rest of the story made up for it. It was a very well detailed memoir and the experience of the author hooked me in the story and made me read till the end without stopping. I really enjoyed reading the autobiography.