Ask the Dust Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why would a starving writer like Arturo Bandini choose to live in Los Angeles where he is even more anonymous, lonely and desperate?

Los Angeles, although it is congested and dirty, offers the hope of work and new opportunities for someone who has grown up in the pristine state of Colorado. While Los Angeles is a huge challenge for an insecure young man, Arturo is seeking something similar to his inner fantasies, and imagines that life in Los Angeles might help him solve the personal problems that began for him much earlier, which he has carried to LA with him.

2. What is the basis of Arturo's daring move to Los Angeles? What has given him the courage to relocate?

Arturo has had one article published, "The Little Dog Laughed," and this one success has given him the courage to strike out on his own as a writer. He calls Hackmuth "his" publisher, and is trying to imagine himself as a successful writer. There may have also been some desperation to break away from his mother and the religious influence he has grown up with in Colorado.

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