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Feb 24, Jeanna rated it liked it This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Eddie lives in a tired barrio, filled with gang violence and poverty. However, he dreams of getting out. Hes working to keep himself on the path that will hopefully one day take him out of his situation. Just when he gets a good job with Mr. Stiles, who trusts him, Mr. Stiles car gets stolen and Eddie fears hell be blamed. Again Eddie is thrust into hard times. His friend Jose suggests a way to get outjoining the military.
While Eddie would not have thought of that himself, because he is also in Eddie lives in a tired barrio, filled with gang violence and poverty.
His friend Jose suggests a way to get out—joining the military. While Eddie would not have thought of that himself, because he is also in danger from Angel, a former friend, Eddie eventually decides to join up. He leaves behind the crying world of the barrio for something else…who knows what. This book had beautiful imagery, not only with the onion metaphor, but also just with the way the author paints the pictures of the world around Eddie.
It is painful but beautiful. The book is written in the first person. His mind is filled to the brim with similies, metaphors, analogies and parallels. You can tell from the first page that Eddie is reflective and thoughtful. He has an excellent imagination which he puts to use most noticeably in his idea about onions that people bury to make themselves cry. He begins by saying how many people he cared for are dead. People he knows are in prison.
Everyone he knows is stuck in some way or another, in their mundane life of boredom and squalor, and none more so than he.
The book is full of reminders for him that he is imprisoned by his poverty and ignorance, and the poverty, ignorance, and malevolence of those around him.
All he can do is keep himself from becoming completely like the people around him. His life depresses him, at times even enrages him. He has no outlet for his feelings, but he is strong enough not to take them out on other people.
He only does so twice, but they were acts of desperation, and he holds no real malevolence. This is most obvious by his lack of the desire for revenge. He never even finds out. His lack of malevolence shows in many other places, for example the way he avoids Samuel and his miniature gang rather than beating them and showing them their place. It just hurts people who are already hurting, and will just die anyway, same as everyone else.
Eddie has the aura of a defeated man. He has little willpower, and things happen to him, rather than him going out and making things happen. As I mentioned, character interractions are a great strong point in this book. They are very realistic, and still filled with the emotional tension that writers love to glorify. It was done realistically, subtly, and emotionally, an excellent combination.
Furthermore the dialect and voices of the characters matched the speakers and the setting, a problem I sometimes notice in my own writing. Characters have distinct voices. One of my favorite scenes was the one where Eddie finally talks to coach about his problems.
It was described and acted out very realistically. Many people in that situation would feel awkward, embarrassed, and rather stupid, particularly if they are out of practice with communicating feelings, as Eddie obviously is.
I like how he compared it to Bazooka bubblegum, which has connotations of being common, cheap, and childish. Another mark of an excellent writer which is evident throughout this book is the use of strong verbs. Strong verbs are words that convey action and meaning in a poignant manner, often even artistically. They are usually used in place of weaker verbs with less meaning and fewer emotional connotations i. They paint an excellent picture for the reader, and also carry with them connotations that can be applied to the setting in general.
Sagging suggests depression, defeat, hopelessness, lack of energy and enthusiasm, all of which are evident in the setting and its inhabitants. Blistered suggests uncomfortable heat and pain, also apparent in the setting. Ignorance, poverty, malevolence, hopelessness, violence, drugs, boredom, and a sense of imprisonment all mix together to form the emotional atmosphere that could squeeze the willpower and love out of anyone stuck in it.
Buried Onions by Gary Soto - PDF free download eBook