Rick Riordan And Richard Linklater – Two Of The Most Prominent Individuals From Texas

Texas has always been a state of continuously misjudged stereotypes that usually drives away the attention of many individuals. The amount of desertedness, certain dominant cultures, and the extremely hot and humid weather are just mere examples of what many people think the state of Texas is. In fact, Texas is much more than just that.

With it being located in the southern region of the United States, it is home to about 28,704,330 people and has limited racial diversity. Out of the millions of people who reside in Texas, Rick Riordan and Richard Linklater are two of the most valued individuals that are gifted in the arts. The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan and Boyhood, by Richard Linklater, are two of the works that stand out amongst others.

It comes as no surprise that residents in Texas are very proud of their state. They have stood by the rough times that the state has faced and have watched it grow and mature into a very well-developed area. In the year 1860, Abraham Lincoln was “[…] pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South [Texas] seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America”. The fact that Abraham Lincoln was making an effort to abolish slavery made certain people who supported it, angry. In April of 1861, there was open fire on the federal garrison, which triggered the American Civil War. During the American Civil War, Texas and all the people in it were struggling, “[…] The war brought hardships. Although only a few battles were fought in the state, the effect of the war was widespread”. The aftermath was terrible for Texas and required lots of work to be done to get the state, economy, and people back on track: […] Imports of goods from northern factories ceased, transportation networks were damaged, and Union blockades made it difficult for cotton growers to export their crops. […] Reconstruction was not an easy time for Texans. Residents had to pledge their loyalty to the United States, abolish slavery, and declare that secession from the union was illegal. For many former slaves, freedom from bondage provided limited opportunities for building new lives. Texas not only grew in the aspect of trade and physical appearance, but also in terms of laws regarding slavery.

Rick Riordan, the author of The Red Pyramid, was the only child of his parents, Rick Riordan Sr. and Lyn Belisle. He was born on June 5, 1964 and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. Once he graduated high school and completed his degree in English, he became a teacher for eight years. After this, he decided to quit his job and become a writer; a passion and talent he has possessed since he was a young teen. He is married to Becky Riordan and has two sons, Haley and Patrick. Haley has ADHD and dyslexia which has inspired Riordan to include this trait in some of his characters.

The Red Pyramid is one of the multiple novels Riordan has written and it is about two siblings, Carter and Sadie. After their father blows up an ancient Egyptian artifact, an Egyptian God, Set, banishes their father and it becomes the job of the two siblings to save him. Through this, they come to learn the truth about their family and themselves.

Richard Linklater, the producer and director of Boyhood, was born in July 1960. He was raised by his single mother but moved in with his father for his senior year of high school. It is safe to assume that he had to grow up quite quickly due to his mother being the sole provider for him through his teen years. During his baseball career, his physical activity became restricted due to an arrhythmic heart condition. After he had discovered this condition, his interest in film picked-up: When he was not working offshore, Linklater spent his time at the theaters, watching up to four films a day and living mostly as a social recluse. He basically inundated himself with the film culture by watching and reading as much about it as possible. […] In time, Linklater began thinking he could write movies and eventually came to believe he could make them. Linklater saved up his money and eventually purchased a Super 8 camera, a projector, and some editing equipment. He has released many successful movies, one of them being Boyhood – a movie about “the joys and pitfalls of growing up are seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke) and his sister (Lorelei Linklater). Vignettes, filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years, capture family meals, road trips, birthday parties, graduations and other important milestones”.

Considering the history of Texas and the past of both of the authors, the unifying and informing symbol is most likely growth and maturity. Growth can be seen in a personal, physical, or mental way through each of the authors and their similar homeland. For Texas, it grows in both physical and personal ways as it restores its land and abolishes slavery.

In Richard Linklater’s past, he was raised by a single mother and was an only child; knowing this, his growth can be guessed as personal – as he probably had to take care of himself and learned to be responsible rather quickly than most children. The growth he has faced in his life is most likely to be seen through his movie as well. Since Rick Riordan’s life does not seem to have any apparent connection with growth, one can assume that this symbol will still be frequent in his work because of his home state (and how much development it has endured). After examining these facts, it is safe to say that an underlying symbol could be growth and maturity.

13 January 2020
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