1. The New York Times

October 13, 2012

At the Corner of Hope and Worry

By Dan Barry


The story happened in the city; Elyria, Ohio’s and focused on the lives of Donna Dove, who opened her diner in 2000. At the moment, Elyria, Ohio was in a depressed economy, while Donna was trying to keep her diner running.

The story starts from description of the city Elyria, Ohio’s environment to Donna Dove’s diner: how could she think about to open her own diner even in the situation that many stores closed at Middle Avenue and a Judge suggested her to run a cafeteria in new courthouse and he can try to make it happen. In the article, the author used many “you”, witch makes the story personal, such as “you know this place” and “you can lose yourself in the stirring of sauce”.

Then the author wrote about her childhood with an alcoholic father. Because of her parents divorce, her mother moved to a government-subsidized house in Elyria, where Donna opened her own diner. Her own marriage was also turbulent. At the end, it came to diner again. Nice and simple vision can not be achieved because of the reality.

The Author presents characters in distinctive features with rich language. “Even the people Donna doesn’t know, she knows.” Donna is the person who can know others through their actions and language. At the same time, she is shrewd in money matters, such as she did not have health insurance. Her day anxieties contain what else could be cut of the diner’s cost.

Through the person Judge, to open up a cafeteria in new courthouse means no electric bill, no worries about security and also air-conditioning, “If you’re interested, I can try to make this happen”, he said to Donna. It can be seen that at that moment economic was recession and the government revealed sign of corruption. The author showed America that people can not always see.

Another person who was important to this article is Pete Aldrich. He is helping Donna. It mentioned several times about his glasses, “His thick-lensed eyeglasses are missing one arm,” even the eyeglasses were hard broken, he did not replace them, which highlights two aspects, first one is the economic downturn and the other is the characteristics of Pete.

It has words in the article that Donna sees the world through the blur of the work which corresponds to the further words that showed in the article, “the presidential election sometimes like a curio placed between the salt and pepper.” This is a unique figure of speech in order to connect the real word with Donna’s work.

In the democratic presidential election period, it lies in who will make the right decision. It seems that the “decision” throughout the text. Whether Donna will open diner in courthouse and whether beautiful expectations can be achieved both of them are “Big decisions”.

Donna thought about how she could do to step away from the grills and until when could she get up without breakfast order and bills. These are her hope, while Donna also had “the day’s anxieties”, such as to serve people with “lunch special” which “she can offer to clear out the refrigerator”.

No matter how much worries and hope, Donna still opens her diner, thinking about the menus. As the end of article’s description, she had her own customers, “cooking is vital to Donna” and “the owner of Donna’s Diner disappears into the kitchen”.