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Pages:
8 pages/≈2200 words
Sources:
3 Sources
Level:
APA
Topic:
Literature & Language
Type:
Book Review
Language:
English (U.S.)
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Topic:

The Soloist by Steve Lopez (Book Review Sample)

Instructions:

The class is Literature for American Minorities. The assignment is very generic: “Read the Soloist by Steve Lopez and write about any topic of interest that discusses issues or characters within the book.” Topic chosen is Judgment and the Color-Line. There must be a strong thesis statement. 
Below is a starting paragraph introducing the topic and a thesis for the paper; however, this does not necessarily have to be used. 
“He’s coming around in his own way, and it has to be that way. With us supporting him and earning his trust. Otherwise you could lose him forever." (Lopez, 2008, p. 135).
The Soloist is about a strange and unique friendship amongst a successful white man, Steve, and a schizophrenic black man, Nathanial. Nathanial is, or at least could have been, one of the country’s musical geniuses; however, due to his illness Nathanial is homeless. The story is about how, upon befriending Nathaniel, Steve has to learn to let go of his “white” judgments and allow Nathanial to be his own person and live with the lifestyle choices he pursues. This release must be done regardless of his own cultural beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.
Lopez, S. (2008). The soloist. New York, NY: Penguin Group

source..
Content:

Judgment and the Color-Line
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Judgment and the Color-Line
“He’s coming around in his own way, and it has to be that way. With us supporting him and earning his trust. Otherwise, you could lose him forever." (Lopez, 2008, p. 135). The Soloist is about a strange and unique friendship amongst a successful white man, Steve, and a schizophrenic black man, Nathanial. Nathanial is, or at least could have been, one of the country’s musical geniuses; however, due to his illness Nathanial is homeless. The story is about how, upon befriending Nathaniel, Steve has to learn to let go of his “white” judgments and allow Nathanial to be his own person and live with the lifestyle choices he pursues. This release must be done regardless of his own cultural beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.
The whole story is meant to bring about the racial differences and decisions that people make on individuals depending on their color and individuality. Steve Lopez in his book, he introduces us to Steve, a Loss Angeles Times Columnist who after some time identifies a black man dwelling in the streets. The writer brings out the the racial differences as held whites over blacks. Throughout the book, Steve’s view of Nathaniel is that of someone who is inadequate. This shows the inherent idea of the whites that blacks are not as better as they are. Pershing Square, where Nathaniel would play his violin, was the point of meeting with Steve. The effect of schizophrenia on the way Nathaniel thought led to him dropping out of the Julliard School. Steve first thinks it is not possible for such a person living in the school to be a graduate of such a prestigious school; this is another instance where we find the judgment of Steve is biased based on his view of an individual. It is indeed necessary to find cases where there is contempt on the basis of the outlook; different individuals have always made judgment based on the outward appearance hence poor and uninformed decision. It is, therefore, necessary that as a person, we don’t make decisions depending on our feelings and past experiences but on the current facts and information.
Nathaniel’s teacher believed in his talent and always urged him to practice more and more. “You’ve got to make music your life. You’ve got to practice, practice, practice.” (Lopez, 2009, p. 18). Harry Barnoff saw the potential and great talent in Nathaniel and believed with practice, soon he would be a great musician. He did not despise him on the basis of race but rather saw the potential in him. Though, in his early stages, Nathaniel seemed not so much focused, his teacher kept persuading him up to the extent that he came to perfect his skills and even played in a world class orchestra. Barnoff believed in more than talent for one to be successive. He would always urge his student to put a lot into practicing the art rather than to sit and relax. It is, therefore, clear from the interaction and encounters from Barnoff that we realize that, in Nathaniel, the teacher saw a talented young black American man. He did not discriminate him or see him as incapable because of his skin color. The writer indicates the relationship of the teacher and Nathaniel as that of mutual respect and the teacher tried his best to make his student the best person he would by ensuring he developed and grew his talent.
Winning the scholarship to Julliard to pursue his long term thought career, Nathaniel was never judged by color and race but his ability and talent. He wanted to emulate his mentor, Harry Barnoff. The desire to study and become a great musician always gave Nathaniel the push forward to be the best person he wanted to be at his young age. He was never discouraged by the fact that he was a black...
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