Through Jacksons The Residue Years and Diazs This Is How You Lose Her, they were able to show how difficult it is to achieve the dream and how the journey could affect not only the person striving for it but also the people around them. With both of their unique writings styles they are able to let the reader feel connected with the person on a personal level. Champ from The Residue Years and Ramon from This Is How You Lose Her are two characters that are working towards the American dream, but dont see how everyone around them is affected by their actions.
At times chasing a certain dreams can cause a person to neglect the people and situations around them. The odds are already stacked against anyone who is not white, especially when trying to achieve the American dream or should i say White Dream. The problem with a lot of people are they are trying to obtain something that is not for them, for example the American dream is a belief that has been already thought out for everybody, and if this dream isnt met then a person is considered unsuccessful.
Why chase a dream that was only meant for certain people, like Champ said Youre right, not everythings about race. But what if this is? (Jackson 80). Champ is trying to reach this goal and keep his family from falling apart while trying to provide for his girlfriend, mothers, and two little brothers by selling the same drugs his mother is hooked on. He wasnt good enough at basketball to go pro and doesnt believe furthering his education will give him what he wants. Champ, an African American male, couldnt play basketball so he sell drugs, fits the stereotype doesnt it.
Ramon on the other hand, a Latino male, been in America for ten years working at a bread factory trying to achieve the American dream with his wife back home and his mistress in the states supporting him. Although Ramon desires a house, but understand that he is already at a disadvantage because of his race, Hes been talking about the house he wants to buy, how hard it is to find one when youre Latino. (Diaz 30). Both characters believe that a house is the answer to their problems and doing everything in their power to get it.
This land of opportunity but limits those opportunities to the ones who desire it the most, isnt that funny? As a reader all you can do is cheer for or hate the decisions these two characters to beat the In this world where there is barely any options or opportunity, at times love is your strength and your weakness. On Both characters journey to the American dream the same people that they have envisioned living the dream with are the same ones who are holding them back, their loved ones. Ramon and Champ we not trying to prove society wrong, but also the people they loved.
Champ feels like he cant let his family down and he has to do everything in his power to assure that he doesnt, ¦ but as I said for my family for all of us, I cant let this dream defer, wont let it fall apart. (Jackson 281). The same people who Champ is trying to take care of are the ones holding him back, his mother relapsed, his little brother is becoming a problem, and his girlfriend is on his case. Champ also gets robbed at a drug deal gone wrong and even by his so called real estate agent.
Champ sees everything he has worked hard for crumbling before his very eyes and its all thanks to the family that he wants to save. Ramon on the other hand just wants that house because he believes its the gateway to a better life. The woman he is trying to bring into this better life is the same person who doesnt believe in him, He rubs at his stubble. What if i find the place? You want me to make the decision myself? I dont think it will happen. (Diaz 32). With no one by their sides and their backs against the wall, you just start to feel for these characters.
If their loved ones arent behind them, then who is? The sad thing about the American dream is not everyone will see it. Ramon hard work paid off, he was able to make his dreams come true, Look, he says holding up the paperwork. Look. He is almost pleading. Im truly happy for him. You did it mi amor. We did it, he says quietly. Now we can begin. Then he puts his head down on the table and cries(Diaz 38). This emotional scene in the book is heartwarming and touching, just to see a hardworking hispanic male have the ability to make his dreams into a reality in American is something that should be applauded.
Sadly the same thing cant be said for Champ. Champs hard work and huge heart wasnt enough,He digs into my jeans and lifts the sack into view, my work rocked up and wrapped in clear plastic¦. They toss up cuffed into their hard back seats and boom the door shut(Jackson 340). Despite everything he tried to do for his family, at the end the person who he was trying to save is the main reason he got arrested. Champ was part a business he didnt belong in because he wanted the better life for his family, he selling drugs so that he could provide for his loved ones ,not keep the money.
Champ may have been a criminal in some peoples eyes but would you label someone who just trying to provide a criminal? Sometimes you make it or you go down trying and sadly, the guy that everyone was counting on couldnt come through. Through both Jacksons and Diazs works they were able to show how difficult chasing the american dreams can be, and make the reader feel for the characters and what theyre going through; and also how hard times can get when trying to pursuit ones true happiest. After reading both stories the question that was left to be answered is, do the ends justify the means?