Cadillac Man: ‘Land of the Lost Souls’
His letter in the beginning of the book to the reader is something of a warning sign as I made of it. He says that they’re are gonna be errors, cursing, nudity, etc. But I soon found out that it’s just like any of the few books I have read through out past, well written, captivating and a provoker of emotions in the different stories that Cadillac Man tells in his memoir of homelessness. Going back a couple of decades during President Reagan's time in his office, you can say that the beginning of the homelessness we see on the streets everyday in the inner cities. Started with his decision to cut the overall spending for mental institutions across the United States and use that money to pay off corporations and essentially making the “rich.. richer.” Locally in Connecticut, before this cut, there was a total of nine mental institutions. After the cut, there was only one, so where do all these people go after being thrown out on the streets? The streets. They have no other way to go, the streets is there place of sleep, shower, it is there home. The streets is where we find Cadillac man, being bounded to this way of life for 16 years, Within these 16 years he has experienced the side of life that no human should never have to endure. From the first chapter and his stories of how desperate people will get when they are hungry. Cadillac describes this mental state of disregard of hygiene, “In the beginning, I would eat
whatever I could find from trash cans. Food so rancid, the smell would knock you down. Removing maggots to get that extra morsel of meat, wiping off slimy fruit. Old pasta, moldy vegetables—you hold your breath and take it down in one swallow.” When reading this, my
stomach turned into a knot of sorrow and discomfort for the people that still to this day have to
live this way of life in order to just survive. It was interesting reading the parts of the book where Cadillac would reveal his thoughts on the world around and has his say on what was currently happening in the United States. In the beginning of the memoir he said something that I couldn't agree with more.
“Our country, it’s a joke, we need to take care of our own.” As a nation, well
not just any nation, the United States of America, we feel obligated to tend to others without… as Cadillac Man says best, take care of our own. As I watch on the news, the few times I do cause I feel like its the same thing over and over again. One of the main occurrences that constantly show up is our constant ode to help nations, who yes are in dire need of assistance. But when looking at our own, we aren’t so perfect and have many faults and problems that we face on a day to day basis. There comes a time where there is a line in which we should focus less on other nations and more on ourselves. I saw this help of our own a decent amount of times when reading
‘Land of the Lost Souls,’
Cadillac Man had many instances of companionship from others other than his friends that he connected with when he was homeless. Many instances such as the deli store owner that sometimes gives food to Cadillac Man. Further more, his many encounters with “The Boss” aka God. What I noticed pretty early on into the memoir is that Cadillac man would write a sentence and then cut to saying… “Lord give me strength.” Cadillac Man is very religious and is someone who look for prayer in times of dire need, this symbolizes how much people rely on religion and their own individual ideologies to get them out of a time of hurt and sorrow. As a homeless person those moments of pain, anger, and hurt comes more often and you feel like there is no one to look too, to guide you through this time in Cadillac Man’s life where it is an everyday struggle to find a place at the end of the day and go to sleep ...
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