‘‘Resurrection of a Life’’ consists mainly of the narrator’s recollections of his life as a ten-year-old paperboy in 1917. He sold newspapers by standing on busy public sidewalks and shouting the headlines to passersby. As a result of this work, he was faced daily with the events of World War I. In addition, he was from a poor family. These factors made the child cynical, and he sought stability and certainty in a difficult time.
The story opens with the narrator commenting that the events of the past have no death because they remain alive in his memories. He notes that he often wandered into saloons, whorehouses, and gambling establishments to watch people. He also watched rich people eating ice cream and enjoying electric fans, and silently rebuked them for ignoring the realities of the lives of the less fortunate. Another place he liked to go was the Crystal Bar, where men drank, played cards, and spat on the floor. He was disgusted by a fat man who came every day in the summer and slept. Finally, he describes going to the cinema and seeing the falseness of the films that somehow revealed the truth of his world.
Regarding himself as worldly and insightful, the boy had no use for school. He was not interested in listening to teachers, and he considered himself superior to the other children.
The boy often went to The San Joaquin Baking Company early in the morning to buy ‘‘chicken bread.’’ This was bread that...
(The entire section is 604 words.)
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