Dalya Arussy's Writing New York Blog


Journal Entry 25- Chop Shop
November 17, 2010, 10:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ale and Izzy are very much typical children in the way they act towards each other and their interests, but due to their situation, sometimes defy this term. Ale enjoys watching sports games and jokes around with his sister while maintaining a certain attitude when it comes to work. Izzy, on the other hand, acts like a child more of the time, as she likes to hang out with her friend Layla, avoids responsibility when it comes to finding a job, and likes new things/clothing. Ale and Izzy both are in a tough situation in which they need to act unusual or extraordinary, but Ale really takes it upon himself to do so. He worries for his older sister, searches for different means of making money, saves up money, and develops skills in car-repair that many adults don’t even have. Both don’t attend school and instead work to get by in life, something very much not characteristic of “typical kids”. Their childhood is in an adult environment, instead of the young one of a school, therefore forcing them to act unusual or extraordinary in contrast to other children.

Ale and Izzy, although both presented with the same situation, contain and obtain different character traits. Ale is more  aware of his situation and its effects, knows how to manage his money,  and is altogether more responsible. He is more assertive and ready to take action, while still being naive and emotional (as kids generally are). Contrastingly, Izzy is more free-spirited and less motivated. It is an interesting contrast as the opposite would be expected since Izzy is the older of the two.

There are many factors that play into their parentless lives as NYC is so complex and diverse. Firstly, because NYC has many people who try to make ends meet, there are several off-the-record jobs available. We see that starting in the first scene where Ale waits with others for a truck to pick them up and take them to work somewhere. Then he sells candy on the subway, works at an auto repair shop, and sells bootlegged DVDs. These businesses are a part of NYC, as there are several people who need a way to make a living but are not necessarily skilled. There is this atmosphere of everyone wanting to succeed and since not everyone has the means, its accepted that many will use whatever they have to reach success. Also, their status as parentless allows them a great deal of freedom, just as NYC does by its immense size. There is this sort of “every man for himself” element of NYC and so Izzy and Ale have the freedom to move around and act as they wish without others caring. No one on the subway questions Carlos and Ale of where their parents are and why they were selling candy. Everyone keeps to their own and that’s what allows Ale and Izzy to really engage in all their different “odd jobs”.

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