Always Running is an autobiographical book about Luis Rodriguez's experiences as a Mexican-American growing up in East Los Angeles. The book is divided into ten chapters, which is significant because the number ten represents a return to unity. Rodriguez begins as a boy who does not belong anywhere, and finishes his story as a respected member of society. By ending up as a respected member of society, Rodriguez is united with his community and is reunited within him. As a boy, he constantly battles himself about his worth as a human being, but as a man, he finally comes to terms with his identity. Written in 1993 for his son Ramiro as an attempt to steer his son away from "La Vida Loca," Rodriguez carefully describes all his experiences of first being a victim, then being a victimizer as part of several gangs, then being a victim again when he moves away from his life of constant violence and struggle and has to deal with the consequences. This is a story of self-discovery. A young boy finds himself thrown into a world that does not accept him; as a result he becomes a victim. Not knowing what else to do, this young boy seeks protection through violence and his peers. As he grows up and learns to think for himself and question everything, he learns he does not need to be ashamed of his family or heritage, and he works to gain respect in his community. Part of Rodriguez's heritage is speaking Spanish. Therefore, he often incorporates Spanish words and phrases into the text. In order for everyone to have a clear understanding, he includes a glossary in the back of the book with an English translation for every word he uses. This makes the book easily accessible to everyone; it also gives the reader a sense of how important Rodriguez's culture is to him. For the most part, this book is written in chronological order. Each major event signifies a different stage in Rodriguez's life. However, sometimes events are repeated and sometimes less...
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