Essay on the English Majors Task: Digging Deeper

Published: 2021/11/23
Number of words: 644

The piece of literature for this essay is southland by Nina Revoyr. The crime novel and compelling story contains the themes of redemption, racism, murder justice and a rich narrative that fleshes pout both the present and the past. Thus, the author describes the details of World War II, the tragedies of the riots and the Japanese internment camps. The narrative is set in los Angeles in the 1930s to present. It contains the tales of Japanese family and a murder that took place during the watts rising. The story begins from frank being a young boy in Los Angeles to present day when he dies. He left a box of items that Jackie went through to check of there were clues of the $38,000 that frank had left. Therefore, the main aim of this paper will to provide a deep analysis about the text ad craft an argument and why the text matters.

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Jackie Ishida, is in her last semester of law when her grandfather, frank dies unexpectedly. Described as the grand daughter to Frank grew up not knowing much about her grandfather and seemed guilty about his passing. Frank was a veteran of the World War II, who owned a store in the crenshaw district. The city was one of the first racially mixed neighborhoods and the heart of majority of the blacks. While trying to fulfil request from his will, Jackie discovers that four black teenagers were murdered in the store during the watt’s riots of 1965. The murders were never reported and remained unsolved. In an attempt to solve the mystery, she ends up unearthing the long-held secrets of her family’s history and hers.

She distances herself from the Japanese heritage and exhibits her own internalized racism. For instance, she preferred partners wo are nin-sin ad preferred not to like the ones who looked like her or even her family. She even hid her sexuality from her family as well as acquaintances such as Lanier. According to the story, Jackie’s choice to hide parts of identity reflects her low self-esteem accompanied with subsequent emotional isolation. Moreover, she struggles with communication in her relationship and often finds comfort in confiding to others. Unable to solve their issues and end their relationship, Jackie nurtures a new relationship with her friend Rebecca as well as having an anonymous friendship with Lanie.

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Consequently, Jackie, becomes aware of racism and become invested in racial injustices. Thus, she finds herself emotionally linked to the minorities and their experiences such as the Thai women being trafficked. Her worldview also changes when she sees the Japanese women and the elderly black relate harmoniously at the bowling alley. The view she sees causes her to reflect on how communities view of race relations has developed over the years.

Southland is a compelling story that explores the fragile and painful misunderstanding that happen across the lines of culture and race. What makes the novel resonates is that it merges the elements of literature with the social history thus making it a river of mystery while evoking south California as a character. The books grab the reader attention hence the reader would not let go until the end of the book. Readers are taken through the through a series of trials and tribulations that uncover the characteristics of the city. The novel helps the reader understand how the differences in gender and the ethnicity play a major role in the action and perceptions of the people within the society. more so, the characters in the novel are defined by what they look like and not who they are. Thus, the book is a never-ending cycle of how the characteristics of an individual determines in what ways they treat others or treated.


Revoyr, N. (2003). Southland (1st ed.). Akashic Books.

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