Blog Post Chapters 1, 2, & 3 Street Life


After reading the first three chapters of Victor Rios’ Street Life, I feel connected to the events he is telling his audience. In looking at the imagery he uses to tell his story, I noticed that he uses kinesthetic and visual imagery in the first three chapters of his autobiography.


The first type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 1, Victor Rios was about to give his speech about his life, at the Los Angeles School District’s Parent Summit. The sensory detail that follows is ”A giant spotlight beams right into my eyes, halfway blinding me, but the glare of this light is not going to stop me from telling my story” (Victor Rios, 1). The effect this has is that when a strong beam of light is in your eyes, it’ll most likely make you want to back away from it. Since Dr. Rios doesn’t want to mess up his speech, he’s resisting.


The second type of sensory detail I want to focus on is visual imagery. In chapter 2, he finished his speech and had several people coming up to him, appreciating his speech because they were able to relate so much. The sensory detail that follows is ”One student, a 15-year-old homeboy wearing baggy Dickies pants, white Nike Air Force One tennis shoes, and an extra long white t-shirt, approaches me and says…”(Victor Rios, 2). The effect this has is intimidation because someone that fits that description is stereotypically gang affiliated and if that person is walking up to you, certain people will get intimidated.


The third type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 3, he finds his father that he’s never seen before, and has a little conversation about how things are. The sensory detail that follows is ”I had the kind of feeling one gets when first meeting a complete stranger and having nothing in common with him”(Victor Rios, 12). The effect this has is that even Dr. Rios is talking to someone who’s he’s related to, he feels like he’s talking to a stranger. A situation like that can make someone feel uncomfortable and want to leave.


Overall, Dr. Victor Rios wants me to understand that there can be so much meaning behind little details like the ones he has included in these 3 chapters, alone. Details that can help the reader understand and even relate to Dr. Rios’ life.

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February 14, 2018 2:41 am

I had never heard of kinesthetic imagery before, so I was interested in what you had to say and how it related to this book you read. I agree with your point about things being hidden in the details of author’s work. Make sure you continue to be aware of things like this. Here is a link to an article more about kinesthetic imagery.
I enjoyed reading your work, thank you for sharing.

February 2, 2018 4:36 am

I enjoyed how you read this novel and what you noticed. Once you read deeper into a novel you can take in and have a fonder understanding of the author. By doing this you’re able to relate to him more and take the information in a different way. I read a book by Greg Boyle that had the same idea. Boyle ran Homeboy Industries that focused on gang reforming and it changed my view on gang life and gave me a deeper respect for those who work to resolve it. I would advise you to read it if you’re able to.

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