Soto Essay, Research Paper

Objective Summary:

The story is about a child’s expectance of a family

life filled with love and comforts, which is contrast

with his real working class family life.

Subjective Evaluation:

Soto, back to his age of nine, dreamed to live in a

family life that was uncomplicated in its routine. In

reality, Soto lived in a working class family; he

tried to change his family to imitate the “perfect

families” he absorbed from television. I think many

people have done what Soto did to fulfill the dream of

a perfect family they wanted. I am not excluded from

this either.

I have an experience of attempting to change my

family life. It was one year later after my family

first came to the US in 1995. I learned many new

things in this country that I never knew in China, and

I appreciated some living styles in American culture.

As I tended to like the styles of American life, I

expected my family like them, too. The thing I wanted

my family to change was the cooking style. I hated to

cook Chinese dinner because it took so long to

prepare. There are four kinds of food which are

considered essential parts of Chinese dinner: rice,

soup, vegetable, and meat; they are usually cooked

separately. I was not the one who was good at

cooking in my family, but I did have to cook when I

came home earlier than my parents and two sisters

still at work. One day, when we were sitting together

at the dinning table for dinner, I suggested to my

family that we could have sandwiches and precooked

food from the supermarket as our dinner since many

American families do. My parents looked at me in

bewilderment. “Son, you must be kidding, right?

Those sandwiches and precooked food do not give you

enough nutrition for growing up,” my dad said. “And

precooked food is not good for your health,” my mother

kept on. My elder sisters showed no interest in my

idea. I grew frustrated from their reaction, but I

did not give up. Evening after evening, I kept

bringing up the idea at the dinning table. My mother

finally permitted me to make one American dinner for

the family. That day, I went to the supermarket to

buy bread, ham, and chicken soup right after school.

I planned on making ham sandwiches and chicken soup

for the dinner. The dinner was ready and served at

our usual dinnertime. My mother tasted a spoon of the

chicken soup and said, “It tastes like brine, nothing

but salty. Why don’t they put some shark fins in it?”

She refused to have another spoon. My sisters only

had a small bite of their sandwiches and then put them

down; my father barely finished one. Even I could not

have another one after finishing two. That night, my

parents and sisters had instant noodle for dinner.

Such a result was out of my expectation, but I had to

accept it. From then on, the subject of changing

cooking style is never brought up to the family


I think Soto had the same feeling as I did when he

found out that there was no way to change his family

to be the “perfect family” he expected. When he

realized that, he went out to look for work; being

different from him, I tried to bring up another

subject to the family conversation.

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