After reading the first three chapters of Victor Rios’ Street Life, I feel sad about the events he is telling his audience. In looking at the imagery he uses to tell his story, I realized that he uses visual and kinesthetic imagery in the first three chapters of his autobiography.
The first type of sensory detail I want to focus on is visual imagery. In chapter 2, he was mentioning how is mother treated his siblings with little affection. The sensory detail that follows is ”She provided food and shelter, when she could, and expected us to go to school, but she rarely hugged us or told us she loved us” (Rios, 7). The effect this has is to make the reader feel how unloved and alone he was. The author wants the reader to visualize his mother not being there for him.
The second type of sensory detail I want to focus on is auditory imagery. In chapter 3, his nickname of the school year became “bastard”. Victor was called “bastard “hundreds of times that year. The sensory detail that follows is ‘Every time I walked into class I heard, ”There goes the bastard”’ (Rios,12). The effect this has is to make the reader feel a sense of being blamed for not having a father in his life. While some people might feel sorry for him, I don’t because my father is not in my life because I won’t allow him, and that is okay with me.
The third type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 3, he decided to visit his dad because he wants to tell his kids one day about their grandpa. The sensory detail that follows is “Finally, when I got to his house, I took a deep breath, walked to his door, planted my feet firmly on the ground to keep my right leg from shaking with fear, and knocked” (Rios,12). The effect this has is to make the audience feel afraid and sick to their stomach as he walked up the stairs to see his father for the first time. This makes a reader have that feeling of now knowing someone that they are going to see for the first time, and the stomach turns so that you want to vomit. It makes the reader hope that Victor gets the outcome that he wanted and is not wasting his time.
Overall, Dr. Victor Rios wants me to understand that his mother had a rough childhood, which made it hard for her to love. Dr. Rios wants me to understand that whatever you go through don’t doubt yourself.