Santa Ana Winds Essay Joan Didion

Santa Ana Winds are Meaningful to Authors Joan Didion in the Santa Ana and Linda Thomas in In Brush Fire

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The Santa Ana winds obviously mean a great deal to Didion and Thomas which is why they regard it as sort of a powerful force in nature. In The Santa Ana by Joan Didion, the wind is portrayed as a force that deprives people of happiness. This concept is highlighted when she states that “ to live with the Santa Anna is to accept . . . a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior.” In Brush Fire by Linda Thomas, it is portrayed more like a normal power of nature. Her concept is highlighted when she brings up the fact that the chaparral plant burns due to the winds but then it returns in the spring which symbolizes regrowth. Throughout their essays, both authors use diction as well as syntax to persuade their perspective audiences.
First, the…show more content…

The Santa Ana winds obviously mean a great deal to Didion and Thomas which is why they regard it as sort of a powerful force in nature. In The Santa Ana by Joan Didion, the wind is portrayed as a force that deprives people of happiness. This concept is highlighted when she states that “ to live with the Santa Anna is to accept . . . a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior.” In Brush Fire by Linda Thomas, it is portrayed more like a normal power of nature. Her concept is highlighted when she brings up the fact that the chaparral plant burns due to the winds but then it returns in the spring which symbolizes regrowth. Throughout their essays, both authors use diction as well as syntax to persuade their perspective audiences.
First, the authors easily establish Ethos since they both have lived in California at some point. That is definitely how they developed their differing viewpoints on the Santa Ana winds. Didion believes that the winds alter human society to some degree by causing unhappiness. She goes on to cite various comparisons to France, Israel, Switzerland and the Mediterranean, which also adds to her Logos. Her reason behind why the winds make people unhappy is that they cause several problems such as headaches and allergies; in Los Angeles some teachers call off classes with the fear of children’s behavior (clearly a hyperbole). In Switzerland, suicide rates increase and blood clot does not occur. Furthermore, her purpose becomes clear when she states “the

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The New Yorker, September 4, 1989 P. 96

This is fire season in Los Angeles, and it has been a particularly early and bad one. Most years it is September or October before the Santa Ana winds start blowing down through the passes, and the relative humidity drops to figures like 7 or 6 or 3%, and the bougainvillea starts rattling in the driveway, and people start watching the horizon for smoke and tuning in to another of those extreme local possibilities--in this instance, that of imminent devastation... Some 34,000 acres of L.A. County burned in one week in 1978. More than 80,000 acres had burned in 1968. Close to 130,000 acres had burned in 1970. 74,000 had burned in 1975, 60-some thousand in 1979... Since 1919, when the county began keeping records of its fires, some areas have burned eight times. Writer visits the headquarters of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which is responsible not only for coordinating firefighting and reseeding operations throughout the country but for sending, under the California Master Mutual Aid agreement, both equipment and strike teams to fires around the state. The logistics of these big fires are essentially military... Anyone who has ever spent fire season in L.A. knows some of its special language... A week, or so later, 3700 acres burned in the hills west of the Antelope Valley. The flames reached 60 feet. The wind was gusting at 40 mph. There were 250 firefighters on the ground, and they evacuated 1500 residents... This will be only the second fire season in 25 years during which writer did not have a house somewhere in L.A. County, and the second during which writer did not keep the snapshots in a box near the door, ready to go when the fire comes.

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