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Joan Didion the Santa Ana

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 346
  • Category: Emotions

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In the essay “Santa Ana” by Joan Didion, the author was very descriptive with imagery, tone, objective description, and subjective description. The way she spoke to the reader about the weather in Los Angeles actually drew an illustration in my head due to the great description by the author. She portrayed an image of how disturbing the winds were and how society was affected by the Santa Ana. The Santa Ana winds in Los Angeles are disturbing because they cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t. It affects people’s feelings and it changes the entire natural environment. Therefore, since the Santa Ana affected emotion and feeling, Joan Didion definitely used subjective description. She also used objective description to refer to the the explanation of the weather itself and the damages the Santa Ana caused.

The Santa Ana make people feel very malicious and cruel. Joan Didion used subjective description by displaying the wickedness in the hearts of the people who got hit by the Santa Ana winds when Raymond Chandler said “meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen(36)”. It comes to the point that the humble and harmless women even feel a little evil in them and think of the worst things they can do to people they once cared about. Another example of how Joan Didion used subjective description is when she states how her neighbor would “roam the place with a machete” and how “he would tell [her] that he heard a trespasser, the next a rattlesnake(36)”.

It seems as if the Santa Ana winds create visions and thoughts of fearful and overwhelming ideas. The neighbor had not physically seen the rattlesnake or a trespasser because he says he “heard” them. His mind makes him believe they are there and it is difficult to ignore something your mind knows so clearly. The winds affect people so much that it comes to the point where people go to the doctors and complain “about headache and nausea and allergies(36)”.

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