edith jacobson vsim

edith jacobson vsim

Patient Case #2


Patient: Edith Jacobson

Diagnosis: Left hip fracture

Brief Summary :

Edith Jacobson is an 85-year-old white female with a history of osteoporosis. She lives at home by herself where she fell and broke her left hip yesterday evening, after having complaints of dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. She is scheduled to have surgery in 2 days.


· Enoxaparin sodium 40 mg SQ daily

· Docusate sodium 100 mg PO daily

· Morphine sulfate 4 mg IV q4h prn for pain

· Metoprolol 25 mg PO BID

· Furosemide 20mg PO daily


· Vital signs every 4 hours

· Activity: Bed rest

· Anti-embolism stockings on both legs (knee-length)


SBAR Report :

S: Mrs. Jacobson is an 85-year-old white female who was admitted last evening after falling and fracturing her hip. X-rays have been taken and show left intertrochanteric hip fracture. Mrs. Jacobson is scheduled for surgery in 2 days.

B: Mrs. Jacobson has a 10-year history of osteoporosis and was newly diagnosed with congestive heart failure last year. Her daughter reports that recently Mrs. Jacobson has been having dizzy spells, fatigue, and weakness. Mrs. Jacobson lives alone and is usually able to perform all her ADLs independently. She does have a cane at home but often times refuses to use it because she “doesn’t think she needs it”. Mrs. Jacobson is usually pretty active, but has been much more sedentary lately due to increasing weakness and fatigue due to medication non-compliance with her heart failure medications.

A: Mrs. Jacobson is AOx4 and her vital signs are stable. Her pain level is currently a 7 out of 10, and she describes is as “throbbing and aching” in her left hip. Often times Mrs. Jacobson will moan or cry out in pain, especially whenever she needs to be moved in bed. She is very resistant to let anyone touch or move her left leg. The skin is intact; color and sensation around the hip area are within normal limits. A Morse Fall Scale assessment was completed on admission, and her score was 45. Fall precautions were implemented. Mrs. Jacobson has limited ROM in her left hip and her muscle strength in her left lower extremity is weak at a 2/5. Mrs. Jacobson has been having some episodes of urinary and bowel incontinence since being admitted to the hospital. She frequently needs to be reminded that she cannot get out of bed due to her activity restriction.

R: You will need to reposition Mrs. Jacobson as she needs to be turned every 2 hours. You should perform a focused musculoskeletal assessment, reinforce safety, and provide patient education on fall risk. Assess her pain level and medicate for pain if needed.

why does the kkk burn crosses

why does the kkk burn crosses

Burning of Cross

The burning of a cross in America is a symbolic act associated with hate, prejudice, and many, many injustices. The burning cross emerged during a time when racial tension was at its highest and members of the Ku Klux Klan used this as a symbol for their hatred of African Americans. In the South there has always been a major racial divide that still exists until this day. During a time when African American were fighting for equality and to live in a society free of discrimination while the opposition, some Southern White Americans, and members of the white supremacy group, the Ku Klux Klan fought to keep African Americans as second class citizens.


Burning of the cross originated from Scotland when warriors would light a cross as a symbol of faith for their journey into the battle (Adams, 1993). The Scots also used the cross as a warning with marauders or enemies attempted to bring battle to their doorstep. The Klan began in 1866 in Tennessee as a group similar to the Knights Templar as a mysterious society who dealt out justice in the countryside as they saw fit. The name of the Ku Klux Klan was derived from the Greek word kyklos, meaning “circle,” and the Scottish-Gaelic word “clan,” which was probably chosen for the sake of alliteration (Adams, 1993)

Originally the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan the group claims burning a cross is a ritual of the group based on an ancient ritual designed to create an unconquerable race of men. The Ku Klux Klan believes white men are this unconquerable race and should be the most powerful race on earth. Back when the Ku Klux Klan originated blood sacrifices were made to the fiery cross to ensure the white race would prevail. When the group originated in Pulaski, Tennessee as a secret society they wore masks to hide their identities.

The first burning of the cross occurred when William J. Simmons, the founder of the Klan in its second incarnation (1915-1944), cobbled together a cross and burned it at a meeting of the newly-established Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915 (Adams, 1993). Flaming crosses have been a Klan trademark ever since but were not originally intended to intimidate but to instead honor the traditions of past Scottish clansmen. Overtime the use of the cross changed when people began to associate the burning cross with the Klan. The burning cross was then used to warn anyone who went against the Klan but especially against minorities after the Civil War.


The burning of the cross will always be a symbol of a terrible time in American history. White supremacy groups would burn crosses in front of the homes, church, and businesses of African American citizens who dared oppose their goal of white racial superiority. The KKK was determined to create fear through violence and burning crosses. African American citizens quickly began to understand the symbol of the cross. The burning cross in the front yard of an African American citizen’s home or business was designed to intimidate and force the African American citizen to vote the way to group wanted.

Cross burning began as a ritual of the Ku Klux Klan but ended up as a tool used for violence and intimidation. African American citizens with burning crosses in their front yards understood this was a warning from the white supremacist group and people that did not comply would mysteriously disappear or later be found hanging from a tree. The burning cross quickly became a symbol of hate and represented the ignorance of the people in the South before the social and political change that was ushered in with the Civil Rights Movement. While cross burning is a medieval practice, in the South it became a Racist practice perpetuated by Christian in the South.

Legal Ramifications of Cross Burning

Many states ban the burning of a cross, such as California, Florida, and Virginia. In Virginia the law against burning crosses was tested in the case of Virginia vs. Black. The case began when Barry Black, leader of the Ku Klux Klan, burned a cross in a county and Virginia and was charged and found guilty of cross burning. Black appealed finding the government should not have the authority to regulate a form of symbolic expression especially when the purpose of burning the cross was not to intimate but for a ritual for him and his fellow brothers in the Klan. (Gey, 2005).

Black claimed the flag burning law in Virginia was a violation of his constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment. The First Amendment allows groups in society to freely express their beliefs without interruption by the government. Black claimed the flag burning law violated his ability to freely express his beliefs. In return the Supreme Court allowed for violations of free speech if the free speech is being used to intimidate, as a threat, or to incite violence. Since the burning of the cross symbolizes a past of violence, hate, and tragedy the court ruled it was not protected speech.

The final ruling of the court was crosses cannot be burned if the goal of the burning of the cross is to create fear, incite violence and for purposes of hate as well as create a true threat. Crosses can only be burned if they are being burned for a ritual. Despite this ruling the court determined Virginia’s cross burning law was in fact unconstitutional because juries are instructed to consider any types of cross burning to be illegal (Brannon, 2003). Under the First Amendment citizens have freedom of religion and the freedom to express these religious beliefs. When a burning of cross ritual is religious it is protected. Virginia’s law does not provide this protection.

As a result of the Supreme Courts ruling in Virginia vs. Black not all cross burning will be considered a form of coercion or threat due to a previous history of cross burning for spiritual purposes. The dissenting vote found that the majority vote was wrong and in fact the history of cross burning in Scotland does not affect American society and has never influenced cross burning for spiritual purposes. The only reason crosses have been burned in America is in order to intimidate minorities and strike fear of the potential repercussions they will face if they do not do as the white supremacy group wishes.

Burning of the cross is not a religious and it is not a positive part of American history. Free speech should never pertain to hate or embrace a history of hate as with the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups. Cross burning should be illegal in all fifty states and result in hate crime charges when they are burned in order to intimidate or strike fear in the heart of an African American citizen. Throughout Southern American history Klan, cross burnings has been used as a tool to intimidate and threaten imminent violence against minorities and groups in society that do not embrace their beliefs or accept their racist behavior.


In the United States the burning of the cross has one significant meaning and that is off hate. Despite the recent ruling of the Supreme Court this behavior should never be conducted for any reason and should be a forbidden practice for all American citizens. If a cross is burned at the home or business of an African American citizen it is automatically assumed this is an act of intimidation because it is. There is no other reason to burn a cross than to send a message of hate or a warning to some group in society.



Adams, C. (1993). Why does the Ku Klux Klan burn crosses? Retrieved February 25, 2014 from


Brannon, C L. (2003). Note, Constitutional Law—Hate Speech—First Amendment Permits Ban

on Cross Burning When Done with the Intent to Intimidate, Miss. L. J. 73(1): 323.

Gey, S. (2005). A Few Questions About Cross Burning, Intimidation, and Free Speech, Notre

Dame L. Rev. 80: 1287.

historical lenses

historical lenses

How historical lenses can affect the study of a historical topic. 

Using the below secondary source article

Malloy, S. L. (2012). ‘A very pleasant way to die’: Radiation effects and the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan. Diplomatic History, 36(3), 515–545. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,cpid&custid=shapiro&db=a9h&AN=74547716&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Read the article, write a discussion post (150 to 200 words) about which of the following lenses you believe the article is using: social, political, economic, or other. Use at least two quotes from your source to justify your choice of lens.

Definitions of Lenses

Social Lens: This lens focuses on people and their interactions with others. It explores areas of ethnicity, class, and gender. Examining the actions and behaviors of how different groups of people interact with each other—and within their own group—provides historians with a great deal of insight into the past.

Political Lens: Not focusing solely on politicians and governments, the political lens looks at the relationship of those who have power and those who do not. Historians using a “political lens” seek answers about the ways in which legislation and law influence the lives of individuals. How do individuals (and groups of individuals) react and respond to these? What methods do they employ to create and/or change the “rules” under which they live?

Economic Lens: This lens focuses on the local, national, or international economy, all of which are central to the lives of every living person. While it conjures images of corporations and economic systems, the economic lens also focuses on government regulation of businesses, the relationships between capital and labor, business strategies such as marketing or horizontal integration, and the relationships between business and consumers.

Other Lenses: Falling somewhere in between these three broad categories, or perhaps overlapping one or more of them, are other lenses available to historians. Each of these lenses helps clarify a specific area of the human past: the environment, the military, science and technology, and so forth.

trader joe’s mission statement

trader joe’s mission statement

Table of Contents



Executive Summary


The Company 3

Mission Statement 3

Vision Statement 3

SWOT Analysis 4

The Product 5

Operations overview 6

Analysis of the Operations perspective

Stock and staff management for Operations

Staff Training, HQ





























Executive Summary (cath)


The following operations analysis will provide a comprehensive approach to the business performance of Trader Joe’and why this company had a successful and constant growth in the last ten years, and how they differentiate from the competitors.

It will take a closer look at the mission and vision statement, the foundations of the company as well, this document will do a SWOT analysis from a retail perspective…






















The Company


Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores, with over 503 stores nationwide in 42 states by November 2019. Joe Coulombe, the founder of this grocery chain, in 1958 acquired a small chain around the LA area under the name of “Pronto Markets,” the idea of Quick and fast markets. Still, Joe realized the idea was not taking any advantage of the future in California; he analyzed that the demographics were changing. He saw the opportunity to provide something different; in 1967 in Pasadena, California, The first Trader Joe’s grocery store influenced by the book “white shadows in the South Seas” and the Disneyland Jungle Trip ride, the Tiki and Polynesian culture presenting a new and fresh concept for a regular supermarket store.




To give our customers the best food and beverage values that they can find anywhere and provide them with the information required to make informed buying decisions. We provide these with a dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit.”


Trader Joe’s vision statement is unspecified, but its elements emerge in its targets; since 2001, when Dan Bane assumed the role of Chairman and CEO, he is committed to positioning Trader Joe’s as a leading chain of grocery stores nationwide. Also, Trader Joe’s announced their initiatives to improve the sustainability of product packaging.


SWOT Analysis for Trader Joe’s front the Retail perspective



Strengths Weaknesses

· Spend less on advertising and marketing on average than rival supermarket operators.

· Financial Support from Post Holding company Aldi Stores


· Geographically diverse with over 503 stores in the store in 42 states

Product Offerings

· Organic Products

· Low Prices – Competitive prices




· High perception of Brand Image

· Excellent Customer Service

· Perception of a healthy brand

· Unique Shopping atmosphere

· Constantly introducing new products


· Low turnover rates

· Promotions within the company

· Team culture

· Environmental responsable, Food waste, recycling and reusing policies


· Multiple Competitors

· Limited Product Selection

· Product Recalls

· Geographic Concentration


International Presence

· No international presence

New Store Introduction

· Betrayed customers seek new alternatives

· Conflicting management views regarding future expansion and vision of company operations


· Lack of loyalty programs

· System Technology

· E-commerce

· Digital Presence

Opportunities Threats
Organic Industry market

· Natural product sales increased over 40%

· Sustainability and Plant Based options are becoming essential for more and more consumers

Increasing Popularity of Own products

· Unique product offerings

· Invest and increase advertising spending

· Encourage, transmit and communicate the importance of eating healthily

· Diverse product offering

Room for further market penetration

· Supply Chain Expansion

· International Expansion

· Emerging millennial buyers support long-term sustainable growth of ethical and organic foods


· Whole Foods stores offer specialty foods with its limited assortment and private label strategy.

· Conventional supermarkets’s transition to the growing and profitable specialty grocer sub-industry

· Continued entrance of new competitors offering organic products

· Offer the product Online and/ or contactless options

Environmental Regulations

· Environmental factors causing food and product shortage

Economic Factors

· Inflation

· Consumer Trends and New concepts



The product Selection

Trader Joe’s has become one of the most popular grocery store chains in the United States in the last ten years, increasing their revenue year after year, which is very impressive for a “Neighbourhood Grocery store.” Trader Joe’s have not implemented a digital marketing strategy; their presence online is minimal; they do not have an online store. Also, they are keeping the stores very local; they do not use loyalty programs.

The secret of the competitive price that Trader Joe’s provide to their clients is on the chain supply and unique products; most of its products are from third-party manufacturers (including giants like PepsiCo. and Snyder’s-Lance). Different brands agree to sell some of their items under Trader Joe’s label. 80% of Trader Joe’s labels are repackaged, and the typical grocery store has 30,000 SKUs, on average. By procuring products directly from suppliers, distributing them through its centralized distribution network, and labeling them directly as Trader Joe’s brand, the store can offer the same quality for a much lower price (Dixon, V. 2017)


Other reasons are that Trader Joe’s have a great acceptance in the market; they divide the target clients in two and accordingly adjust to provide excellent value to them.

· Health-conscious: for which they offer natural and organic products, also with the eco-friendly policies, being a more sustainable store. This category includes also the vegan and vegetarian seekers.

· Bargain Shoppers: the store provides low prices which are very appealing to those type of clients

It is essential to highlight the shopping experience that goes together with added value; each store has a nautical theme and adapts to each location, complemented by different design elements.







See some examples of different product displays:


Examples of the store design, which made a unique experience and each are unique from the others

Trader Joe's Sign Art on Behance

  Coronavirus panic-buying hits Southern California supermarkets - Los  Angeles Times



Here are some examples of funny and distinctive signs around the TJ stores. A different way of advertisement, the sign plays with words, calling the attention of customers. It is also very unusual, they are hand-drawn which keep it more personal and support local artists.     


Trader Joe’s has a large selection of different healthy options dried fruit, snacks, nuts


Product selection

Trader Joe’s provides a big selection of Plant-based products and a very competitive price, which keeps them leading the market in this section and bringing value and constant innovation to their clients.

Especially in a growing market, Whether it’s health concerns, ethics, or sustainability, American diets are changing. While only 6% of Americans are vegetarian and 3% vegan, almost 40% are shifting toward eating more plant-based foods, according to a 2018 Nielsen Report.

Here some examples of the unique products that offer just at Trader Joe’s:








Staff members

— Operations



Aside from their supply chain Trader Joes invests a large amount of resources and time in training their employees. By doing so they are able to make their employees feel valued. Furthermore, Trader Joe’s employees are paid above industry-standard, and specialized training sessions welcome workers into the company culture before teaching them how to stock a shelf. Using survey data from 7,000 U.S. households, the firm ranked the country’s top 55 grocery store chains based on seven criteria points – price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discounts and speed of shopping (Barrabi, T. 2019)Trader Joes provide competitive price and an overall positive experience for the customer and employees


As of 2019 trader joes has over 10,00 employees across 505 locations in the U.S. it is estimated that in 2019 Fiscal year Trader Joe’s made $13.7 Billion compared to Whole Foods that had 16.5 billion while costco made $110.5 Billion in-store sales (Clifford, C. 2020) Between 1990 and 2001, the number of Trader Joe’s stores quintupled and the company multiplied its profits by ten. In 2019, Trader Joe’s was ranked number 23 in best places to work in the United States by Glassdoor and in 2020, the company ranked number 14 (Investopedia. 2020) However Trader Joe’s is a privately held subsidiary of Post Holding Inc. Post Inc owns poupel companies such as Chips Ahoy, Honey Bunches of Oats, Hostess, Oreo O’s and many other brands.



Operations overview



Trader Joe’s is known for its low prices, and high-quality items. They manage to maintain both in a very unique way. Unlike most stores that are pushing towards digital engagement Trader Joe’s is more concentrated with the in-store experience it provides to its customers. In fact, when it comes to how things are run in stores Trader Joe’s lets their store managers run their own store, helping create that neighborhood grocery store approach. In other words, by using a decentralized approach Trader Joe’s enables each store to fit its neighborhood and customer needs the way they seem best fit. The reason behind their success is the flexibility of how many products they offer. Instead of purchasing brand name products, they go directly to the distributor and put their private label (company name) on the product which helps them cut cost and maintain that price flexibility. By doing this they are able return the savings to their customer and increase their profits. Not only are they flexible when it comes to products, but they are also flexible with their employees and their schedule. From the Trader Joe’s website, I was able to find out when you apply to work at Trader Joe’s you are able to let them know what days you can and can’t work as well as what hours you are available. This all together shows how flexible and ready for change Trader Joe’s is not only with their team members and products, but also with any new trends that might be emerging, they are ready.

Inventory management:

Inventory Management is something Trader Joe’s prides itself on by doing its best not only to find the best prices but also to find the best product and distributors. Trader Joe’s has a unique approach when it comes to food sampling stations (Yohn, D. L) which is that they do it a lot. But it is understandable because they are trying to push all their products. Trader Joe’s believes that less is more. They don’t buy too many similar products, instead they’ll buy less brand name items/brands and will buy directly from the distributor. By buying directly from these brand name distributors they are able to put their own private label on these products. Their unique private labeling helps cut cost when it comes to purchasing these products from the distributors directly and helps them create a name of their own. For instance, instead of buying pasta from Annie they will purchase the same pasta from the distributor and label it with their own name. This method contributes to how Trader Joes is able to keep their inventory so low because they have less SKUs to worry about and still have great quality products. Aside from this Trader Joe’s also has a unique layout at their locations, this helps them save even more money in inventory management because they are able to cut cost on storing extra items and push their own products more creating more sales for them.

Trader Joe’s also simplified their inventory strategy. Unlike other grocery stores that carry tons of product, Trader Joe’s limits how many products they offer in store. They believe that by offering less products they not only are able to push more of their inventory out but cut cost on buying any other unnecessary products. By using a Just in time (JIT) strategy when it comes to stocking, they are able to have just enough inventory ready for their customers, making sure they don’t waste any extra money when it comes to storing their produce as well as making sure they don’t let things go to waste. Trader Joe’s is known for offering products that they know their customers will purchase, and this is all thanks to their staff members and how they make customer satisfaction a top priority.

Supply Chain Management:

When it comes to supply chain management Trader Joe’s tries its best to not only provide the highest quality when it comes to the products they offer but they also try to get the best prices. Trader Joe’s does something that puts them ahead of others as well by not only making customer satisfaction a top priority, but by also having a strong emphasis on being kind to the environment, making shoppers want to shop there for even more reasons. Trader Joe’s follows the California Transparency of Supply Chain Act. This act ensures that all goods sold to Trader Joe’s were not processed, harvested, manufactured, packaged, labeled, transported, or delivered using forced or prison labor or forced or illegal child labor.

Trader Joe’s buys products directly from manufacturers and uses their own private label to help keep costs low and push their own brands. As shown in the image above Trader Joe’s has a vast variety of products, they offer under their own brand name. By doing this Trader Joe’s pushes their own products helping create a name for their brand. One that customers know will be of the best quality, all while managing to beat out the competition, despite having these name brands manufacturers produce their products. Trader Joe’s keeps a close relationship with every manufacturer and grower thus cutting out the middlemen(distributors) helping them keep their prices down. The supplier will send out their food directly to Trader Joe’s distribution center and Trader Joe’s will send out the product to their stores after. The products they buy they make sure they are produced in FDA or USDA licensed and approved facilities (Co, E.). What this does for them is ensure a type of quality that they will put out in their stores. Which helps attract customers to their location because they know they are getting good quality at a great price.


Besides customer satisfaction being one of the most important services Trader Joe’s offers they also have a strong focus on the food they offer and making sure it is top quality. They also offer a unique newsletter to their customers called The Fearless Flyer. This newsletter offers recipes, product origins and other insight that customers might find interesting. This is something unlike anything else. What other grocery store provides this unique service to its customers? By doing this Trader Joe’s is providing incentives/perks to its customers that choose to shop with them. Trader Joe’s offers you suggestions on what you can possibly be making that day for dinner or simply gives you ideas for ingredients that you can put together to make a dish. This service is something that you don’t see any other store do. If you go on Trader Joe’s website as well, you can find those suggestions and others as well. Smaller facilities help Trader Joe’s have a more personal feeling with a sort of neighborhood aspect to the point where you have almost a farmer’s market feel is just another one of the many services that Trader Joe’s offers. By cutting costs and going directly to the manufacturer they help save you money and still offer you top quality products.

Managers & Workers:


When it comes to hiring personnel, Trader Joe’s takes their time and won’t rush the process. They feel that it is necessary to have the right people to perform the job adequately. At the end of the day, they are the ones that are in charge of running this store, whether it be creating the signs we see at the store advertising their products or helping customers out on a daily basis they do it all. With the freedom they are given to make decisions on the products they carry thanks to the decentralized type approach they use; it is important that they hire the right people. When you allow management to have this type of decentralized control over a store you learn a couple of things. One, you learn what people want in store, this has an impact on your inventory cost because by knowing your customers preferences you know what you should and shouldn’t order. In return this has a positive effect on your profit. This also helps your employees morale and it shows, about 89% of the workers would recommend Trader Joe’s as a place to work.

The food sampling stations help Trader Joe’s discover if there are any new niches in the market which helps them stay ahead of the game. As they continue to make these shifts, they are keeping in mind what it is they can do to better serve their customers, because at the end of the day Trader Joe’s believe that their brand is their name. Their brand being not only the service they provide to their customers but also the products they provide and the “experience” they provide. The flexibility, service, and inventory are all made possible by the managers and workers they hire. Trader Joe’s prides itself on many things, one being the team members they hire.

Analysis of the Operations perspective


Trader Joe’s main goal is to minimize cost for themselves which in turn allows them to help cut cost for their customers. They are able to do this through their unique strategic operations starting with how they conduct business with their manufacturers. Trader Joe’s does something that other retailers don’t do, they go directly to the manufacturer of the product cutting out the middleman. They also cut down on how many brand name items and brands they care in their stores (Ciment, S.). They believe that less is more, and it is understandable. When you give customers too many options not only are you making it harder for them to choose what it is they want to buy, but you are also adding all this cost of storing all these extra products. Money that you could be using to increase salaries for your employees to boost their morale or to get top brand products for your customers. The less products they carry the more sales they have of the products they carry which happens to be their own privatized label. The fact that these products are their own brand shows customers that they offer high quality items at a reasonable price and it makes it easier for their customers to trust their brand and store. Trader Joe’s feels that they don’t need to increase their internet presence, because most customers that shop at their store are shopping there because they heard good things about their store through word of mouth, which is how they do most of their advertising. But when we look at the current pandemic and an increasing trend people are doing more and more grocery shopping at either fewer stores or do more online shopping which has increased 28% (Redman,R). Their name does do a lot for them, but it wouldn’t hurt increasing their online presence as a new opportunity for them to increase sales.


Trader Joe’s also does something that you don’t really see any other store do, which as mentioned is using their private labeling on goods. What this allows them to do as mentioned is cut cost when it comes to purchasing goods from their manufacturers. They don’t have to pay that extra cost for the brand name items and are still able to get the same high-quality items for a fraction of the price. They also tend to have smaller packaging and cut the use of plastic when it comes to packaging their fruits and vegetables. Trader Joe’s has a couple of key competitive priorities as mentioned, cutting cost, helping customers save money, minimizing the amount of products they carry in store, and maintaining high quality when it comes to the products they offer, as well as their customer service are just a few ways they try to stay competitive. Trader Joe’s is known as a great company to work for and this makes it easier for the company to not only keep personnel on but makes people recommend them at an 89% rate as a place to work at. They also promote from within which makes sense from a management point of view because they already cross train their employees so why not train them in new areas making them that much more intrigued in their job. With the loose decentralized approach of management they use when it comes to running their location, it is better when you have someone there that knows what it is they are doing and is willing to learn more.


Stock and staff management for Operations


When it comes to the stock Trader Joe’s uses the Just in Time system to get their products to their locations. This is something they have found great success from using and one can see why. The biggest reason they use this is because it helps them increase efficiency and decrease waste of items, by only receiving items when they are needed. This is useful for Trader Joe’s because as we know their main priority is cut cost any way possible, whether it be saving money in purchasing items by going directly to the manufacturers or by cutting cost when it comes to storing extra items in their stores. Some might say that they could be losing out on business by not having all these extra items in their stores but by looking at Trader Joe’s records they are actually one of the most profitable grocery stores out there selling $2,000/sq ft in groceries compared to Whole Foods who sells $1,200 (Ryan, J.). Less SKUs for them to worry about makes delivery of their products much easier, and less options means their customer purchases more of the select items they carry. This all contributes to making Trader Joe’s such a profitable grocery store, along with how they use their staff.

Trader Joe’s takes pride with the staff members they hire and won’t rush when it comes to making any decisions on who they hire. This is because they feel it is important to hire the right people to run their location, which is an example every company should follow. They give their employees the freedom to run the store the way they seem best. This method works out for them because their employees are fully engaged with customers and know what it is that their customers that shop their what or expect to find at the store. This is possible thanks to them having less SKUs to worry about as well. Which lets the employees recommend certain products to customers as well, allowing them to know more about their customers likes and needs. They focus so much on their personnel as well because all of the promotions they do are from within their organization. They cross train all their employees to make sure they can handle any task that may present itself. This allows them to prepare them for their next role in the company as well. Trader Joe’s not only heavily compensates their employees whether it be their salary or benefits such as their contribution to their employees 401k, they also give their employees the freedom to choose their schedule. What other company gives their employees this type of leeway when it comes to scheduling. Granted the schedule has to work for Trade Joe’s as well, but by having this freedom the morale of their employees is higher and you can notice it.



After analyzing the business operations of Trader Joe’s, the recommendations suggested for the company are to continue expanding in their private labeling, push for creating more of a digital presence while focusing on keeping customer privacy a top priority and keep giving their employees the freedom to run their locations the way they seem best fit. The biggest reason a business exists is to make money plain and simple. Trader Joe’s private labeling helps them keep costs low which increases profits for the company. More profits are always good news for a company. So why not look into potentially expanding on items they already have/use their private label on, to the point where the store could become their brand. They can even look into possibly buying their own farmland to grow these items becoming their own distributor for a vast number of products.

Trader Joe’s website already offers certain features, so why not expand to having your own app, personalized for every store. As customers increase online shopping it makes sense to look into the possibility. As stated early there has been a 28% increase in online grocery shopping and people are now having their groceries delivered straight to their house. Walmart already offers curbside pickup, and they are now coming out with their Walmart+ service which will offer unlimited deliveries straight to your house. Amazon is opening up Amazon fresh locations and are offering same day delivery on certain products depending when they are ordered. They also don’t have any cashiers, instead you are charged at the end after all your items are scanned and put in your shopping cart. Trader Joe’s can see about what improvement it is that their customers would enjoy the most whether it be the faster check out or having an app that they can use that offers other services within the app that are already on their website like recipes they offer and expand on it.

Their use of decentralized management has helped them create a great work environment as well as that neighborhood-like feeling that Trader Joe’s is known for. They have an 89% recommendation rate on glass door, and it is easy to see why. Besides the great benefits they offer their crew members they also give them the opportunity to grow within the company, by promoting within. Their use of decentralized management helps prepare their staff for future roles by making sure they are all cross trained and capable of doing the job. When you allow management to have control over the store, they are able to see what areas they can improve in and how they can better develop their personnel. This helps create a smooth-running operation for Trader Joe’s. They don’t have a certain “set of rules” they have to follow instead management is in charge of running the store the way they seem best. The biggest area of focus they have to worry about is creating a great customer experience that makes you want to continue doing business with them and even makes you want to tell your friends and family about Trader Joe’s.

The biggest area of opportunity I would say Trader Joe’s has is expanding their online presence, followed by expanding in their private label products, and lastly continuing their use of decentralized management in their stores. If they take the next step in improving any of these three areas, I can see their profits easily increasing. The simple fact of providing online shopping creates a new stream of business that they never had before. Granted their main concern is keeping prices low and doing this could increase cost but you have to be willing to spend money to make money. An increase in their private labeling of products they offer is another way their profits can see an increase. Completely cutting out the middleman and being their own provider will create new jobs and help them create a bigger brand than the one they are already known for. Lastly by giving their crew more freedom to run the store can also help Trader Joe’s figure out what it is exactly that their customers from certain stores are interested in and what it is they can go without, helping cut cost and waste.















Ciment, S. (2019, August 15). We went to Trader Joe’s and found 7 main reasons why so many people are obsessed with the quirky grocer. https://www.businessinsider.com/why-customers-love-trader-joes-quality-price-2019-8

Co, E. (2016, June 29). The Truth Behind Trader Joe’s Low Prices. https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Trader-Joe-So-Cheap-34885089

Ryan, J. (n.d.). The Surprising Secrets Behind Trader Joe’s Supply Chain. https://www.elementum.com/chain-reaction/the-surprising-secrets-behind-trader-joes-supply-chain

Yohn, D. L. (2018, June 13). Six Surprising Facts That Explain Trader Joe’s Secrets To Success.https://www.forbes.com/sites/deniselyohn/2018/06/13/six-surprising-facts-that-explain-trader-joes-secrets-to-success/

carl shapiro vsim

carl shapiro vsim

Patient Introduction

Carl Shapiro is a 54-year-old male who travels frequently. He was seen in the Emergency Department at 1:30 p.m. for complaints of chest pain, diaphoresis, and shortness of breath. He was treated in the Emergency Department with aspirin and two doses of sublingual nitroglycerin. Chest pain improved with nitroglycerin administration. IV infusion of normal saline was started in the Emergency Department and is running at 25 mL/hour. Ordered lab values are pending. Provider wants to be called as soon as the labs are available. Patient is receiving oxygen at 4 L/min with SpO2 values at 97%. Chest pain was last rated as a “0” following second nitroglycerin dose and nitroglycerine patch 0.4 mg. He has been admitted to the Telemetry Unit.

henry reyna

Zoot Suit: henry reyna


The first Chicano play on Broadway, Zoot Suit incorporates bilingual dialogue and alienated Mexican Americans. The play grew out of California Chicano guerrilla theater. Luis Miguel Valdez questions newspaper accounts of the Los Angeles zoot-suit-Columbus Day riots and the related Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial (1942). The drama uses song, dance, and a unifying narrative based on the traditions of the Mexican corrido (a ballad form that often reflects on social issues). Newspapers described zoot-suiters knifing and killing until stopped by the U.S. Navy and Marines and deservingly imprisoned (“Police Nab 300 in Roundup”); Valdez contrasts this yellow journalism with a very different reality: lively, harmless singing and dancing interrupted by police violence (“Marines and Sailors . . . stomping like Nazis on East L.A.”), mass arrests, and brutal police interrogations.


A zoot-suiter “master of ceremonies” called Pachuco narrates the action, dispelling illusion, showing reality, and providing flashbacks that characterize the protagonist, Henry Reyna, who is vilified in the white media, as heroic. This defiant, existential street actor wears the colors of Testatipoka, the Aztec god of education.


Reyna, a loyal American about to ship out for the war in the Pacific, becomes a scapegoat for the Los Angeles police. When a minor scuffle with a rival gang interrupts his farewell celebration with his girlfriend, he bravely steps in to break up a one-sided attack. Newsboys shouting inflammatory headlines and a lawyer predicting mass trials prepare viewers for legal farce. The prosecution twists testimony proving police misunderstandings and Henry’s heroism to win an unjust conviction. White liberals distort the conviction of the zoot-suiter “gang” for personal ends, and even the Pachuco narrator is ultimately overpowered and stripped by servicemen. The play ends as it began: with the war over, the incarcerated scapegoats released, and police persecution renewed. Leaving viewers with the choice of multiple possible endings, Valdez not only reflects the Mayan philosophy of multiple levels of existence but also offers alternate realities dependent on American willingness to accept or deny reality: a calm Henry and supportive family group united against false charges, Henry as victim of racist stereotypes reincarcerated and killed in a prison fight, Henry the born leader dying heroically in Korea and thereby winning a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor, Henry a father with several children, Henry merged with El Pachuco, a living myth and symbol of Chicano heritage and Chicano oppression. Thus, Reyna the individual portrays Chicanos in crisis in general. The plays shows Chicanos undermined by a prejudiced press, racist police, and an unjust legal system that distorts facts. The play shows how American society denies Chicanos an opportunity to live or even sacrifice for the American Dream.


Zoot Suit Summary (Critical Survey of Literature for Students)


A large newspaper hangs in place of a curtain. Its large bold print reads Zoot Suiter Hordes Invade Los Angeles and US Navy and Marines Are Called In. The narrator, El Pachuco, dressed in his traditional zoot suit, enters from behind the newspaper, ripping it with his switchblade. Speaking in English and Spanish, he tells the audience how every Chicano fantasizes about putting on a zoot suit. He also cautions the audience that the play is both fact and fantasy.


El Pachuco is next seen singing at a barrio dance. The members of the Thirty-eighth Street Gang are present, including Henry Reyna, a twenty-one-year-old Chicano who is the leader of the gang, and his girlfriend, Della Barrios. A rival group, the Downey Gang, comes into the dance hall. Harsh words are exchanged, and at that moment, the police arrive and detain those at the dance hall. Lieutenant Edwards and Sergeant Smith arrest Henry. It is Monday, August 2, 1942.


Alone in a room at the police station, Henry and El Pachuco have a conversation. El Pachuco comments to Henry about the problems facing zoot-suiters. He tells Henry that the war is not overseas but on his own home turf, and he reminds Henry of Chicano pride. Edwards and Smith want Henry to confess to the murder of Jose Williams at Sleepy Lagoon; they believe that Henry is guilty of the crime. They interrogate him, but Henry does not talk.


Sergeant Smith beats Henry unconscious, and the scene shifts to Henry’s home on the Saturday night of the dance. Henry tries to reassure his mother, who fears his wearing the zoot suit because of all the trouble zoot-suiters have been having with the police. Henry pays no attention although the newspaper headlines are reporting a Mexican crime wave.


The scene shifts back to the present. Henry and his friends are angry and worried because they have been accused of murder. They all agree not to squeal on one another. George Shearer, an attorney, is hired to defend the boys. At first Henry does not trust him, but George speaks convincingly of his sincere belief in the justice system. Henry then begins explaining the events of that Saturday night. According to Henry, his brother Rudy, who was quite drunk at the time, got into an argument with Rafas, the leader of the Downey Gang. Henry defended his brother. After a near-fatal fight, Henry and Rafas both claimed that their insult had been revenged.


As George prepares the boys’ defense, Henry is introduced to Alice Bloomfield, a reporter. They argue in their first encounter, but she and George reassure Henry of the fairness of the justice system. When the trial begins, however, George realizes the difficulty he faces as the judge denies his motions and overrules his objections.


The first person on the witness stand is Della, who recounts the events after the Saturday-night dance. She testifies that the Downey Gang went to Sleepy Lagoon and beat up Henry. Instead of going home, they then went to the Williams ranch and were attacked. As the gang members headed back to their cars, Della saw a man repeatedly hitting another on the ground with a stick. During cross-examination, the prosecutor succeeds in twisting Della’s story. With all his objections being overruled, Shearer is not able to present his case adequately. The boys are found guilty and sent to prison for life, and Della is ordered to a state girls’ school. El Pachuco calls for a break.


Henry and his friends are next seen doing time at San Quentin. Henry, feeling hopeless, decides to drop his appeal, but Alice is able to talk him into continuing with it. After a visit from George, Henry argues with a guard and is sent to solitary confinement for ninety days. Alice does not know about the solitary confinement and believes that Henry is dropping the appeal. While in solitary confinement, Henry again talks to El Pachuco, who tells him not to hang on to false hope. Henry turns against El Pachuco. Alice continues to bring Henry optimistic news. At one point, feeling happy, Henry kisses her. While Henry awaits word on the status of his appeal, his brother Rudy joins the Marines.


More than a year later, Henry and the boys are acquitted on the charges of murder. On his return home, Henry’s parents throw him a party to celebrate his freedom, and at the party he makes amends with Della. The party does not last long, however, as the police begin to harass his friend Joey. Henry, filled with rage, tries to intervene, but his father holds him back, not wanting Henry to confront the police. Henry, at first ready to strike his father, instead embraces him, and, one by one, the whole family joins in the embrace. As the play ends, various versions of Henry Reyna’s fate are offered.


Zoot Suit Summary


Zoot Suit, though perhaps Valdez’s most commercial play, retains the political spirit of the early actos and anticipates the struggle for Chicano identity of Valdez’s later works. Because it is a musical, with terrific song and dance throughout, it is his most conventionally entertaining play, but because it dramatizes an overlooked episode in American history that reveals a pervasive racism against Chicanos, it is also one of his most powerful and socially relevant plays.


Set in Los Angeles in the early 1940’s, the play centers around the trial and wrongful murder conviction of Henry Reyna and three other Chicano gang members, or pachucos. Act 1 explores the trial and, through flashback, the violence that leads up to it; act 2 deals with the efforts to appeal the conviction and free the pachucos. Throughout the play, Valdez gives the action an added dimension through the use of two extraordinary devices. One is the mythic figure of El Pachuco. He is larger than life, the zoot-suiter par excellence, the embodiment of Chicano pride, machismo, and revolutionary defiance. He dominates the play, though he is seen only by Henry and the audience. Indeed, he may be understood as a layer of Henry’s personality externalized, a kind of alter ego who continually advises Henry and comments on, at times even controls, the play. The second device is El Pachuco’s counterpart and antagonist, The Press. In Zoot Suit, the news media functions as an actual character who symbolizes the racist hysteria of public opinion during World War II. Significantly, it is The Press, rather than a prosecutor, that tries and convicts Henry.


This racist hysteria (“EXTRA! EXTRA!, ZOOT-SUITED GOONS OF SLEEPY LAGOON! . . . READ ALL ABOUT MEXICAN BABY GANGSTERS!”) provides a crucial context for understanding the play. As the United States fought Nazis abroad, it imprisoned Japanese Americans at home, denied African Americans basic human rights, and harassed Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. The irony of Henry’s being arrested on trumped-up charges the night before he is to report to the Navy to join the fight against racist Germany is cynically pointed out by El Pachuco, who says that “the mayor of L.A. has declared all-out war on Chicanos.” In this climate, racial stereotypes, media-inspired fear, and repressive forces unleashed by war are quite enough to convict the pachucos, even in the absence of any real evidence.


The trial itself is a mockery, a foregone conclusion, and thus Henry finds himself at the mercy of forces he did not create and cannot control. Even those who try to help him—his lawyer, George, and Alice, a reporter from the Daily People’s World—earn Henry’s resentment, for they, too, seem to be controlling his fate. In this sense, El Pachuco represents a compensating fantasy. He is always in control and indeed is able to freeze the action of the play, speak directly to the audience, rerun dialogue, or skip ahead at will. He is a kind of director within the play, and however vulnerable the other young pachucos are, El Pachuco remains invincible. Even when he is tripped and beaten by Marines, he rises up undaunted, clad only in a loincloth, like an Aztec god.


Henry Reyna and the other pachucos are vindicated in the end, winning their appeal and a provisional kind of freedom. Yet Valdez presents multiple endings to Henry’s life story. He does so to make the audience see that Henry’s character still exists, as do the forces of racism that torment him, and the defiant spirit and cultural pride that will not allow his will to be broken.



Zoot Suit Summary

Act I Summary



A backdrop of a giant newspaper headlines announces an invasion of “zoot-suiters,” or pachucos, young Mexican-American men who wear slicked-down hair and suits with long, exaggerated coattails; armed forces are called in to handle the problem.


A switchblade rips through the newspaper to reveal El Pachuco, the epitome of a zoot-suiter, assuming the usual posture of defiant coolness. He begins speaking in Spanish, then switches to perfect English. In a cocky beat, he describes the Pachuco style. He exits, swinging a long watch chain.


Act I, scene i

The scene is a dance floor in the barrio, or Spanish-speaking neighborhood, in the 1940s. Couples from the 38th Street Gang dance, led by Henry Reyna with his girlfriend, Della Barrios. A few Anglo sailors dance nearby, as El Pachuco sings. The rival Downey gang enters and the dance turns violent when the rival gang leader, Rafas, shoves Henry’s brother Rudy.


Act I, scene ii

The dance/brawl is interrupted by sirens, detectives with drawn guns, and a reporter snapping pictures. Sergeant Smith and Lieutenant Edwards make arrests, but they let the Anglos go. The scene dissolves into a lineup.


Act I, scene iii

El Pachuco comes forward to the pacing of Henry and gives him a dose of reality: innocent or not, he will go to jail. He also tells Henry that his plans to join the Navy will not come to fruition. Henry’s war is in the barrio, not overseas.


Act I, scene iv

The ever-present Press continues to update the headlines: twenty-two members of the 38th Street Gang held on “various charges,” including the murder of Jose Williams. The policeman Smith beats Henry, trying to get him to talk. The stubborn Henry only passes out. As Dolores, Henry’s mother, enters, time slips back to the Saturday before the gang fight. Dolores and husband Enrique quibble with Henry over his tachuche, his zoot suit, or “drapes,” but they let him wear the outfit because he is a man (“es hombre”), whereas they refuse to let Henry’s sister, Lupe, wear a short skirt to the dance. Enrique announces a Navy send-off party for Henry next weekend. The family bids a respectful and affectionate adieu as the young people leave for the dance.


The scene shifts to the dance floor, where El Pachuco sings and the 38th Street Gang members dance.


Act I, scene v

Back in the present, the public reads newspapers and litter the streets with them. All exit, except for one figure, a street sweeper. It is Enrique. When he has finished cleaning up, he pauses to read the news.


Act I, scene vi

The gang nervously awaits the outcome of their arrest. Joey has been beaten but hasn’t told anything, and Smiley realizes, too late, that he is too old for all of this: he’d rather be with his wife and child. A “People’s lawyer,” George Shearer, meets his new clients and wins their trust.


Act I, scene vii: “The Saturday Night Dance”

As the boys recount the story of the dance/ brawl to George, the events are portrayed on stage. Henry takes Della to Sleepy Lagoon to tell her “something.” The Downey Gang is there, but the groups co-exist peacefully until Rafas, the Downey leader, pushes Rudy to the floor. Henry and Rafas are instantly in a knife fight, which El Pachuco magically interrupts, saying to the audience, “That’s exactly what the play needs right now. Two more Mexicans killing each other.” Henry lets Rafas go. The Downey gang leaves and the dance continues.


Act I, scene viii: “El Dia de la Raza” (The Day of the Knife)

The Press enters, building a jail of newspaper piles, while the couples recite headlines of the War and the zoot suit “crime wave.” A friend of George’s, Alice Bloomfield, surprises Henry with her interest in his case. George discovers that the boys have been denied the right to change their clothes or wash, an infraction of their civil rights. El Pachuco refuses to let Henry be as optimistic as his two Anglo defenders, but Henry insists he is not the “classic social victim” and will be freed.


Act I, scene ix

The “largest mass trial in the history of Los Angeles County” opens “to put an end to Mexican baby gangsterism.” George raises his objection against the clothing restriction, but the Judge overrules him, saying it is a useful way to identify the witnesses. Furthermore, each time a defendant’s name is mentioned, he is required to stand up. El Pachuco encourages the boys at least to sit up straight. Della takes the stand.


Act I, scene x

The lights change to create a reflection like a lagoon on the floor. Henry and Della enact their walk along the reservoir listening to the music of a party at the Williams ranch in the distance; Della narrates. Henry is promising Della a big Pachuco wedding upon his return from the War when the Downey gang suddenly appears and proceeds to smash up Henry’s car. Della cannot prevent Henry from confronting them and getting beaten senseless. When he comes to, Henry’s organizes eight cars of his gang members to retaliate, but finding no Downey boys, they crash the Williams Ranch party. They don’t know that Rafas and his gang have already terrorized the party. The party members react violently when they perceive a fresh attack. As Henry’s gang retreats, Della vaguely sees someone brutally hitting a man on the ground with a stick. The victim is presumably Jose Williams, who will die from the attack.


Act I, scene xi

In an unfair trial, the whole gang is committed to life imprisonment at San Quentin. George vows to appeal the decision.



Act II Summary


Act II, scenes i through v

The gang members are in prison, where they receive letters from loved ones. Alice visits Henry and they form a tense relationship that is veering toward romance. George’s announcement that he has been drafted devastates the boys, even though he assures them that other competent lawyers are handling their case. Henry’s temper lands him in solitary confinement. When El Pachuco tries to console him, Henry lashes out at his alter ego, sending him away.


Act II, scene vi

In Los Angeles, the Zoot Suit Riots take place between marines and zoot suiters. Rudy is being terrorized by a gang of marines when El Pachuco takes his place. Swabbie accuses him of trying to “outdo the white man” with his clothes, and then El Pachuco is overpowered and stripped down to a loincloth. Henry watches in shock as El Pachuco exits humbled but maintaining his dignity.


Act II, scene vii

Alice and Henry’s attraction intensifies, but Alice recognizes it as a culmination of cultural forces as well as chemistry. She intends to get the court decision overturned, although Henry has given up hope.


Act II, scene viii

Rudy enlists, and then the Press announces a turning point in World War II as the Pachuco boys gain their freedom.


Act II, scene ix

The boys and Rudy return to the barrio, amidst much celebration. The lights dim and the play seems to end on this happy note, but El Pachuco flicks his wrist and the lights come back up. The barrio still has its problems, and Henry must decide between Alice and Della. Surrounded by a cacophony of voices and demands, he chooses Della. Rudy and Joey get into a fight, then Rudy emotionally relates the horrors of being stripped in the zoot suit riots. In the meantime, the police are busy arresting Joey for stealing a car that actually belongs to George. Enrique restrains Henry from protecting Joey, and the entire family embraces. The Press, Rudy, Alice, and others narrate various possible futures for Henry, finishing with El Pachuco’s announcement that the myth of Henry Reyna—El Pachuco—lives on.



Themes and Meanings (Comprehensive Guide to Drama)


Zoot Suit is a fast-moving, didactic play in a variety of styles that protests Chicanos’ treatment in America. Based on incidents that occurred when Pachuco gangs stirred hostility in Los Angeles during World War II, but concerned with the 1970’s as well, the play lashes society for abusing its own children. For poor, dark-skinned Mexican-Americans, injustice has become a way of life.


Products of slums and victims of discrimination, Chicanos seek escape wherever they can find it—in music, dancing, drinking, and extravagant display of costume. Even Lt. Edwards, a Los Angeles policeman, discerns the root of their problem. “Slums breed crime, fellas,” he announces to an assembled group of reporters, waiting eagerly to chronicle the latest Chicano excesses for a bigoted readership. “That’s your story.” The idea that depressed surroundings produce angry, scared people, that vice and crime can be extirpated only if the environment that breeds them is abolished is hardly a new or radical notion: Benjamin Franklin taught it more than two hundred years earlier in Philadelphia.


As foreigners in their own country, Chicanos suffer not only the arrogance and rejection of Anglo society but also great psychic stress as they struggle, half-unwillingly, to observe the customs of their persecutors, to accept a way of life that they do not really understand. Attempting to adhere to strictures they recognize as socially approved but unwilling to abandon their own language and culture, they find themselves caught in the middle.


When young men such as Hank don the zoot suit, however, and leave the city in their jalopies for romantic spots such as Sleepy Lagoon, they are able to put behind them the tedium of the barrio and the stultifying pressure of conformity to another culture: “Put on a zoot suit, makes you feel root like a diamond, sparkling, shining ready for dancing ready for the boogie tonight.” As preposterous as it may appear to others, the zoot suit helps the Pachuco achieve pride and self-respect. Its ostentation demands recognition. Rather than hiding, “keeping his place,” he flaunts his presence. On the other hand, he knows that duck-tail haircuts, platform shoes, and pegged pants arouse antagonism more often than they command respect.


El Pachuco’s role in the play, then, is ultimately ambiguous, since as the “cool” side of Hank and the incarnation of Chicano pride and defiance, his sardonic advice and encouragement lead always away from the mainstream of American life toward the alienation of a subculture. Zoot Suit proclaims that the treatment people receive will determine the direction they take and suggests that for Chicanos it may be too late; the gap between the barrio and Main Street may be too wide. El Pachuco’s seductive and convincing voice urging the integrity of La Raza and distrust of the Anglo often seems to be the right one.



Zoot Suit Themes

Culture Clash

Henry and his gang are charged with the murder of a fellow Mexican-American, Jose Williams, not because there was convincing evidence of their guilt, but because of their ethnic identity and their radical style of dressing and behavior. The underlying conflict that leads to their arrest and unfair trial is a clash between Mexican-Americans and the dominant Anglo culture. The zoot suiters represented a small population of Mexican-Americans. They sported ducktailed haircuts and slick suits and promenaded with swaggering coolness, affectations which were seen by some Anglos as an affront to mainstream society. More common were the assimilated Mexican-Americans of the 1940s, who accepted being segregated in barrios, Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, and who held low-paying, low-status jobs. They were tolerated in society as long as they limited their aspirations and kept out of the way. Enrique is a fully assimilated Mexican-American, who works as a street cleaner and is proud of his son for joining the Navy to fight as an American; for Henry to do so would indicate that he would also be assimilated.


Trouble comes when groups of Mexican-American zoot-suiters, or pachucos, congregate in dance halls and begin to get rowdy. With the war hysteria of the 1940s, such rowdiness was seen as an imminent threat, and the death of Jose Williams seemed proof of the violent nature of the pachucos. The historic 38th Street Gang did not actually carry switchblades, but Valdez portrays them as quick to brandish and use such weapons; thus they seem to fulfill the violent nature suspected of them. Lt. Edwards and Sergeant Smith arrest only Mexican-Americans at the dance, automatically letting the Anglos, including the violent Marine, Swabbie, go free. From this point on, the harsh treatment of the prisoners is shown to emanate from ethnic hatred and distrust. They are treated like—even called—animals. The problem is perpetuated when the pachucos return the hostile treatment by distrusting Anglos.


It is not until George proves his dedication and the boys accept his help that a bond is formed across the two ethnic groups. Yet culture clash rages on while he fights for their release, and Rudy is attacked by twenty marines and stripped of his zoot suit. Even the hard-won freedom granted to the boys does not signal a resolution, since the clash continues at their celebration, when cops assume that Joey has stolen George’s car. The problems of the barrio transcend the problems of one gang: El Pachuco announces that “The barrio’s still out there, waiting and wanting, / The cops are still tracking us down like dogs, / The gangs are still killing each other, / Families are barely surviving.”


Civil Rights

For Mexican-Americans like Henry, the issues is not just ethnic conflicts, but actual civil rights abuses, and his trial is not unique in its judicial travesties. The Chicano Movement sought to correct these and other wrongs, as part of the tide of the larger Civil Rights movement taking place in the 1960s. The battle had many fronts: from the courthouse to the schoolhouse, Hispanics, African Americans, and other ethnic groups educated themselves and the public on the daily injustices committed in the United States. For Hispanics, the separate and unequal education system (there were separate, poorly equipped, schools for Mexican children), lasted far beyond the Brown v. Board of Education case that won legal equality in schooling for blacks. Hispanic children did not attend integrated schools until a federal ruling in 1970 forced the Texas school system to eliminate segregation.


Police brutality was another alarming civil rights issue. A group of prominent Mexican-American citizens, who created a forum in 1948 to pursue delays in veterans rights for Mexican-Americans, shifted their focus to actively expose and prosecute police brutality cases. Police raids and wholesale roundups of Mexican-Americans were commonplace at social gatherings, where women and children were beaten along with men; the mass arrests depicted in Zoot Suit were not an exaggeration. In addition, urban renewal programs targeted barrios, which were called “blighted” areas. In these “slum clearance” programs, whole neighborhoods were wiped out to make way for freeways and other works projects that, while beneficial to the dominant culture, did little to improve the lives of the Hispanic community; the uprooted Mexican-American families were often fraudulently displaced and not properly compensated for their losses.


Various groups within the Chicano movement both initiated legal reprisals and attempted to educate the American public about these civil injustices. In a 1969 conference, attendees wrote a manifesto entitled El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, in which they sought restitution for “economic slavery, political exploitation, ethnic and cultural psychological destruction, and denial of civil and human rights.” Valdez was a leading artist who contributed to this effort.



Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)


El Pachuco


El Pachuco (pah-CHEW-koh), a mythical figure, the zoot-suited spirit of the Pachucos, alienated gangs of Mexican American youth living in the Los Angeles area. A rebellious, street-smart, young Chicano, El Pachuco is master of ceremonies of this play set in the World War II years, as well as a leading figure, chorus, and the alter ego of Hank Reyna. In his “cool” outfit (long jacket, baggy trousers, and lengthy watch chain), El Pachuco preaches, with bitter humor, fidelity to one’s own culture and language and defiance of the Anglos. It is the Anglos, Americans not of Mexican origin, who seek to control the lives of his people (la Raza), robbing them of ethnic pride and manhood while exploiting them and discriminating against anyone with a brown skin.


Henry (Hank) Reyna


Henry (Hank) Reyna (RRAY-nah), a twenty-one-year-old Chicano with Indian features, the gang leader of the Thirty-eighth Street Pachucos. Hank is arrested on the eve of joining the Navy, along with a number of other gang members, for the alleged murder of a Chicano one summer night in 1943 at a lakeside gathering spot. He is convicted in a rigged trial. Rebellious, angry, and resentful of authority, which represents for him discrimination against Chicanos, Hank does nothing to placate those in control of his fate. Although he presents an impenetrable façade to his persecutors and jailers, Hank is extremely confused about his own identity as an American in a country at war that regards him, too, as a foreign enemy. In his puzzled state, Hank seeks guidance from El Pachuco, who urges rejection of America and faith in his own heritage. After a successful appeal and release from prison, Hank remains uncertain whether integration into American life or rejection of it is the answer for himself and his people.


George Shearer


George Shearer, a dedicated yet realistic young public service lawyer. George volunteers to defend the Pachucos in their murder trial, convinced that they are victims of racial prejudice and irrational war hysteria. He finds, however, that before he can help them he must first overcome Chicano mistrust of him; he is, in their eyes, just another “gringo.” During a ludicrously one-sided trial, the judge badgers George mercilessly, making no effort at impartiality, while the Press convicts the young Chicanos in the pages of Los Angeles newspapers. When a guilty verdict is handed down despite his best efforts, George plans an appeal but is drafted into the Army before he can proceed.


Alice Bloomfield


Alice Bloomfield, an attractive young Jewish activist and leftist reporter who organizes the Pachucos’ defense effort after their original conviction by raising funds and enlisting the support of American liberals, including prominent Hollywood figures. An uncertain relationship begins between her and Hank in the months she works in behalf of his cause. The gap between their backgrounds, Hank’s alienation and anger, and his commitment to Della, a Mexican American girl, make it unclear whether the two young people have a future together.


Rudy Reyna


Rudy Reyna, Henry Reyna’s hero-worshiping younger brother, who longs to don his own zoot suit, which for him is the symbol of manhood and defiance of Anglo hegemony. A marauding band of servicemen strip Rudy of his flamboyant zoot suit and his dignity as they rampage through the streets looking for brown-skinned “foreigners” who, they believe, do not sufficiently respect the American way of life in wartime.


Enrique Reyna


Enrique Reyna (ehn-REE-keh),


Dolores Reyna


Dolores Reyna,


Lupe Reyna


Lupe Reyna (LEW-peh), and


Della Barrios


Della Barrios (DEH-yah BAH-rree-ohs), Hank’s family and girlfriend, who support and sustain him.


The Press


The Press, the malevolent forces of yellow journalism that perpetuate feelings of Anglo racial superiority against Chicanos and incite injustices.



Zoot Suit Characters



See Della Barrios


Della Barrios

Henry’s twenty-year-old current girlfriend, who sports a mini-skirt and fingertip-length coat, is prettier than Henry’s last girlfriend. At Sleepy Lagoon, he proposes to marry her after he returns from his Naval duty. Although Della does not write to Henry while he is in prison, she herself serves a jail term for her involvement in the gang fight and would have had time to write. When her parents ask her to choose between home and Henry, she chooses to move into Henry’s place and wait for him. Even so, she does not pressure Henry into the marriage the gang expects but lets him make his own choice.


Alice Bloomfield

A reporter for the Daily People’s World newspaper, Alice heads the campaign for the gang’s release. As a Jew, she insists that she understands their predicament, and that she fights for them because of the oppression of her people. Her temporary passion for Henry emanates as much from the intensity of their shared political goals as it does from the chemistry between them.


Judge F. W. Charles

Judge Charles conducts a biased case, overruling justified objections by the gang’s lawyer and imposing unfair restrictions, such as not allowing the boys to cut their hair or change clothing and seating them apart from their attorney.



Cholo, a younger member of the gang, gets left behind after the arrests. He and Rudy get into their own brawls with the Anglos one night, in which Rudy does the fighting while Cholo escorts the women out of harm’s way.


Downey Gang

A rival gang who go to the dance, start fights, and later join Rafas in terrorizing the party at the Williams Ranch.


Lieutenant Edwards

Lt. Edwards is the tough cop who tells the press he refuses to “mollycoddle these youngsters anymore” as he puts the gang under arrest. He tries—and fails—to bribe Henry into squealing on the other gang members. He does so by offering to let Henry off in time to report for Navy service.



The Guard at San Quentin calls the gang “greaseballs” and puts Henry in solitary confinement for calling him a “bastard.” He pantomimes reading the letters the boys receive while the writers narrate them. He is not so much an individual character as a part of the system that oppresses the pachucos.



See Smiley Torres



The newsboy hawks the papers whose headlines move the plot along. He provides the voice of the media.


El Pachuco

El Pachuco (pah-choo-ko) presides over the entire play, acting as Henry’s alter ego. In the plays Brechtian moments, Pachuco interrupts the action or speaks to the audience directly, and he also sings accompaniment to the action. El Pachuco is the consummate Mexican-American pachuco figure, a zoot-suiter who is tough, cool, slick, and defiant. He tells it like it is and is meticulous and vain about his appearance.


In a 1988 interview with David Savran, Valdez explained the role of El Pachuco: “The Pachuco is the Jungian self-image, the superego if you will, the power inside every individual that’s greater than any human institution…. I dressed the Pachuco in the colors of Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of education, the dean of the school of hard knocks.” El Pachuco achieves mythic proportions when he is stripped of his zoot suit by the Anglo rioters. Dressed only in a loincloth, he adopts a regal majesty as he exits, walking backward, from the stage. When he returns, he is not content to accept the Press’s damning prediction that Henry will return to prison. At his prompting, the other characters recite alternative futures for Henry. He controls the action of the play and embroiders the events of Henry’s life.



The Press plays the role of an antagonist in the play, as it is the headlines that inflame the Anglos to riot and biases the public’s perception of the gang’s innocence. When the sailors taunt Rudy and the gang members left after the arrest, the Press eggs them on, calling the zoot suiters, “gamin’ dandies.” The Press also plays the unprecedented role of prosecutor in the trial, further emphasizing the damaging effect of the media.



The leader of the Downey gang, Rafas pushes Rudy down at the dance and gets into a knife fight with Henry. Henry gets the upper hand, but El Pachuco prevents him from killing Rafas. Humiliated, Rafas takes his Downey Gang to the Williams Ranch and terrorizes the people holding a party there.


Dolores Reyna

Henry’s mother is a traditional Mexican mother who lovingly teases Henry about his zoot suit but allows him wear it. She refuses, however, to let her daughter leave the house in a short skirt because it makes her look like a puta (whore). The trial is devastating to her, and she is elated when her two boys return home, one from prison and one from the war. She thinks the solution to Henry’s problems is to marry Della and throw away his zoot suit.


Enrique Reyna

Henry’s father, Enrique is a first-generation Mexican American. He represents traditional values of family, honesty, hard work, infinite patience, and personal integrity. He wants his son to stay home and avoid the inevitable conflict with the police that will get Henry re-arrested, but he wisely knows that he cannot protect his son from the fate that circumstances and his son’s character hold in store.


Henry Reyna

The play’s protagonist, Henry is described as “twenty-one, dark, Indian-looking.” He becomes the primary suspect for the murder of Jose Williams because he is the leader of the 38th-street gang. The arrest spoils Henry’s plan to join the Navy, and he is forced to face the problems of the barrio. His stoical resistance to interrogation only gets him beaten up, and he discovers that, guilty or not, he will pay a tremendous price for his ethnic heritage and pachuco style.


Lupe Reyna

Henry’s younger sister, Lupe, at sixteen, wants to adopt the pachuca style, with a short skirt and fingertip coat, but her parents forbid it.


Rudy Reyna

Rudy is Henry’s nineteen-year-old younger brother. He wants so much to follow in his brother’s footsteps that he fashions a make-shift zoot suit out of his father’s old suit. He drinks too much at the dance and gets into a fight with Rafas. After the mass arrests, he endures attacks by the Anglo sailors, who strip him of his zoot suit. He enlists in the War and returns a hero.


George Shearer

George is a middle-aged public defender assigned to the pachucos by the courts. He is athletic, strong, competent, and dedicated to his clients. He refuses to give up on Henry and the gang and finally his associates wins their release, although he himself is drafted and sent off to war at a critical moment in the trial.


Sergeant Smith

Sgt. Smith is even more brutal than his partner, Lt. Edwards. Smith tells Edwards “you can’t treat these animals like people,” and beats Henry senseless, trying to get details about the Sleepy Lagoon murder out of the young man. Smith represents the oppressive members of the anglo majority who malign the Hispanics.



Swabbie is an Anglo sailor who frequents the dance hall that the pachucos frequent. It is he who strips El Pachuco of his zoot suit.


Smiley Torres

One of the members of the 38th street gang, aged twenty-three. He had started the 38th street gang with Henry, but now he has a wife and child. After getting arrested, he regrets having joined the pachucos: he feels too old for parties and jail.


Bertha Villareal

Henry’s former girlfriend, who sports a tattoo and is not as pretty as Della. Rudy dates her after Henry is imprisoned.

Critical Context



Luis Valdez coined the term acto to describe a short play in which reality and performance are barely distinguishable—its performers are shown “in the act” of living as well as performing. His first acto was The Theft (wr. 1959), a symbolic one-act about the harassment and crucifixion of a beatnik. Later, stirred by social action plays he had seen on a 1964 visit to Cuba, Luis Valdez began writing actos as an organizer for Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers about the time of the 1965 Huelga (strike). Starting with the short “message” playlets, many of them broadly comic, performed outside by volunteer actors, he went on to organize El Teatro Campesino and to write more ambitious short plays such as Los vendidos (pr. 1967; the sellouts), an agitprop (agitation and propaganda) performance about intimidation and racial stereotyping, and Bernabe (pr. 1970). The latter, about man’s relationship to the earth, draws on the Chicano’s pre-Columbian heritage and introduces a zoot-suited pachuco as well.


Zoot Suit shares the legacy of modern protest drama, much of it propagandistic and leftist, extending from central Europe between the world wars to America during the Vietnam War era. The play’s influences range from the expressionist theater of Georg Kaiser and Ernst Toller to such antiwar efforts of the 1970’s as David Rabe’s The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (pr. 1971), which also features a dark-skinned choral figure, brutal realism, free form, and an even more unrestricted treatment of time and events than Valdez attempts.


Zoot Suit is agitprop drama meant to depict social injustice as Bertolt Brecht’s plays did, making use of rapid scenes performed on a nearly empty stage where locations change swiftly, with little transition. While the play refers to incidents that occurred historically in the Los Angeles of the 1940’s, it seeks to combat the racial prejudice of any era. It depends to a great extent on the semi-documentary technique used by the “living newspapers” of the Depression; like them, Zoot Suit dramatizes injustice in order to educate and awaken responses, and it “reports” its story in fragmented scenes. Newspapers serve symbolically as furniture, as a drop curtain, even as laundry hanging on a barrio clothesline.




The Play (Comprehensive Guide to Drama)


A huge switchblade stabs through a giant newspaper. Headlines read: “Zoot-suiter Hordes Invade Los Angeles, June 3, 1943.” The knife slashes down, and a young Chicano steps through the hole in pegged trousers and a four-foot watch chain. Reaching back into the slit, he finds his knee-length jacket and pork pie hat. Slipping into this “zoot suit,” he steps forward, assumes a “cool” stance and begins to speak in Spanish.


He is El Pachuco, the spirit of the Pachucos—gangs of young, alienated Mexican-Americans living uneasily in a country which regards them with suspicious distaste. A play about these Pachucos is about to unfold, he says, switching easily into English, realizing that Anglos—Americans not of Mexican descent—may not otherwise understand what they are about to see and hear.


When El Pachuco finishes, the curtain flies up to reveal a lakeside dance in progress a year earlier. Jitterbug rhythms fill the July night air as El Pachuco and the dancers salute the zoot suit, singing of how it establishes their identity and brings romance and excitement into their lives. Suddenly a rival Chicano gang, the Downey Gang, appears at Sleepy Lagoon. Hank Reyna, the leader of the 38th Street Pachucos, yells a warning to Rafas, his opposite number of the Downey Gang, who has begun to manhandle Hank’s brother Rudy.


A moment later sirens sound from all directions—la jura, the law. Pachucos are rounded up and stand with their hands raised. When they turn around, they form a line-up inside a police station. In a series of barked messages, headlines, and press releases, the audience learns that a Chicano has been killed and hundreds have been arrested.


Hank remains on stage as the others are marched off. El Pachuco, the ever-vigilant observer, now makes it clear that he is, among other things, Hank’s alter ego—his other self. Hank is convinced that the police mean to charge him with the murder although he is innocent and had planned to report for duty to the Navy the next Monday. El Pachuco warns, “This ain’t your country,” and Hank, acknowledging brotherhood with him, resolves defiance.


Left alone after the police interrogate him, attempting to wring a confession, Hank’s thoughts travel to his barrio home shortly before the killing, to his loving, good-humored Mexican family. It is a bit macho in the men’s insistence—Hank and his father’s—that a stricter standard of behavior and modesty applies to sisters and girlfriends than to the men. Hank’s father Enrique, although slightly puzzled by the young people’s American ways, is proud of his manly son and remembers his own youth as a revolutionary in Mexico. Hank, he thinks, is made of the same stuff.


Meanwhile, the yellow press is stirring up Los Angeles against the “Mexican Crime Wave” and “Zoot-Suited Goons”; in this play headlines, reporters, and newspapers themselves take on symbolic dimensions as they contribute to racial prejudice. The jailed Pachucos maintain their bravado under Hank’s leadership, though they have little confidence in Anglo justice. Consequently, they are as mistrustful as El Pachuco when George Shearer, a “people’s lawyer,” offers his services. Convinced that they face the gas chamber, they accept the gringo’s offer and narrate to him the events of July 21, 1943.


Pachucos and Pachucas dance again. Rudy is drinking heavily when Rafas and his gang appear. This time Hank and Rafas pull switchblades: El Pachuco abruptly halts the play. “Two more Mexicans killing each other” is just what the Anglo audience “paid to see,” he says. When he “unfreezes” the action, Hank lets Rafas go with a kick.


Bundles of newspapers mark the cell where Hank now receives a new visitor, Alice Bloomfield, who tells Hank that Pachucos are now being accused by the newspapers of taking orders from Japan. Hank is dumbfounded, but he distrusts the alluring do-gooder and her social worker’s jargon.


The trial of the gang, presided over by a judge who is recognizable as a policeman seen earlier, is a travesty. From his bench—a bundle of newspapers—he humiliates the defendants while smiling on the prosecutor—the Press. Hank’s girlfriend Della testifies damagingly, in a flashback to the confusing events of the Sleepy Lagoon killing, and the kangaroo court hands down a verdict of life imprisonment for Hank and the gang as the first act concludes.


Attacks on Chicanos by sailors and Marines in weeks succeeding the trial do not discourage Alice Bloomfield from organizing a defense committee to seek an appeal, but Hank remains suspicious, and El Pachuco warns him not to expect much. In addition, George Shearer has been drafted into the Army, and a tangle with a guard lands Hank in solitary confinement.


Alice Bloomfield deluges Hank with letters reporting the enlistment of Hollywood celebrities to support his cause. Hank finds himself attracted to her, but he has doubts—and his feelings for Della offer more conflict. Similarly, Alice’s Jewish sensibilities respond to Hank’s plight, but she is alienated by his explosive anger, his commitment to Della, and her awareness of his deep-rooted prejudices against the Anglo society to which she belongs.


America’s war abroad passes in a flurry of shouted headlines while Hank waits in prison. On the heels of American victory comes triumph for the Pachucos, too, when their appeal succeeds and they are released. The final scene of the play, “Return to the Barrio,” is left deliberately ambiguous. Hank must resolve his relationships with Alice and Della. Rudy appears unable to forget the humiliations received at the hands of servicemen during the war. Suspicious police still dog the Pachucos, and the euphoric moment of Chicano pride and unity felt by the Pachucos at their release quickly vanishes. The future for those with brown skins, the play seems to say, may lead either uphill or downhill: to integration into American life or to more violence, prison, and even death.



Zoot Suit Dramatic Devices (Comprehensive Guide to Drama)



From start to finish, the audience’s attention is riveted on El Pachuco, the quintessence of the “cool” Chicano. Not only does he comment on the action in chorus-like fashion but he also shares Hank’s role as protagonist. In effect, El Pachuco is master of ceremonies, a leading figure, and an interpreter of what is seen. Dressed in a zoot suit to end all zoot suits, he carries himself, as a New York reviewer said, in a “backward tilt that suggests he is suspended by a wire from the navel.” He is outrageously self-reliant and unintimidated by anything Anglo authority can invent. Unsinkable, unfoolable, unflappable, he wins first grudging admiration, then affection, and finally a sort of respect as he rallies flagging spirits.


The play is openly partisan in its celebration of El Pachuco as a hero of his people, striving—in Luis Valdez’s words—to be “theater as beautiful, rasquachi, human, cosmic, broad, deep, tragic, comic, as the life of La Raza itself.” Maintaining “beauty and spiritual sensitivity” inside this ethnic context has been difficult in a production designed for general audiences, and Luis Valdez has revised his play for many years, hoping to strike the right balance between pessimistic naturalism, joyous affirmation, and folkloric theatricality.


To complement its ethnic quality and provide authenticity, a large portion of Zoot Suit is spoken in calo, or street Spanish—so much so that an audience gradually becomes familiar with oft-repeated words and phrases. Spanish is not used merely as flavor, as so often is the case of foreign languages in Hollywood films or television programs. Further, it is calo, not readily comprehensible even to many Hispanics. Cubans, Puerto Ricans, even native Mexicans may have great difficulty in catching the meaning of lines.


Because the unrelenting enemy of the Chicano in Zoot Suit is the Press, representing biased Anglo opinion and racial superiority, newspapers are treated as nearly animate things. Valdez uses the papers much as Elmer Rice used numbers in his expressionist classic, The Adding Machine (pr., pb. 1923). Beginning with the newspaper/curtain that first reveals El Pachuco, newspapers both define and confine Chicano lives. When reporters rush out of a press conference, they leave the street littered with newspapers from which Hank’s father Enrique, a municipal street sweeper, learns what is happening to his son.


Other devices used by Valdez that are associated loosely with the expressionist theater are the flashback, the split stage, and a robot-like behavior that is introduced at critical points. The courtroom scenes make use of the latter to suggest the mechanical administration of justice and a lack of human feeling. When Alice “sends” letters, she reads them aloud to recipients who reply in like fashion. Near the end of the play, when Hank struggles to decide which woman has the better claim on him, his barrio girlfriend Della or the advocate in his legal battle whom he has come to love, each woman stands at an opposite end of the stage in a visual reminder of the conflict Chicanos face between two ways of life.



Zoot Suit Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Los Angeles


*Los Angeles. Sprawling Southern California city in which the play is primarily set in 1942—a time when the city is preparing for war, divided by race, and filling up with military personnel getting ready to ship out to the Pacific. Tensions are high, the mood among military personnel is hyper-patriotic, and the city has no tolerance for anyone who appears to be an unpatriotic slackard. When hundreds of servicemen and party-going Mexican Americans accidentally clash, the result is a large-scale riot that results in hundreds of arrests, including one for murder.


The play’s bilingual dialogue, flamboyant “zoot-suit” costuming, energetic dance hall settings, Latin rhythms, and references to Mexican cooking convey the strongly Mexican flavor of Los Angeles. The play’s experimental staging, echoing Chicano street theater, moves rapidly from set to set, from past to present, and from mainstream perspectives to Mexican American perspectives. Meanwhile, the play’s master of ceremonies, El Pachuco, pulls everything together through his onstage narration.


Newsboys shout inflammatory headlines on city streets, describing armed zoot-suiters knifing and killing until stopped by the U.S. Navy and Marines and deservingly imprisoned. In one fight scene in an unnamed city bar, Anglo servicemen overpower and strip the Pachuco narrator.


Scenes in the play alternate rapidly among a police station, a courthouse, a jail, and a prison, and the homes, parties, dance halls, and city streets. Flashbacks merge past and present, as a zoot-suited “master of ceremonies” identified only as “El Pachuco”—a term for a street tough—wearing the colors of an Aztec god, narrates the onstage action, connecting the disparate settings and providing multiple interpretations of onstage reality.


At the end of the play, playing with the Mayan philosophy of multiple levels of existence, El Pachuco calls forth a series of vignettes representing alternative futures for the murder suspect, Henry Reyna: a supportive and united family scene in a family living room; a prison scene with Henry killed in a prison fight; a Korean War scene, with Henry dying heroically; a public political scene with Henry awarded a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor; a family vignette of Henry as a father surrounded by several children; and a mythic Aztec scene, with Henry transformed into El Pachuco, a symbol of Chicano heritage and oppression.


Reyna house


Reyna house. Lower-middle class home of the family of Henry Reyna, who is arrested for murder during the riots. His family sits around a kitchen table, the mother cooking, the father sharing a first drink with his son, as the three youngsters prepare for a night out.


Dance hall


Dance hall. Scene of Reyna’s farewell celebration before he is to ship out for the Pacific the next day. Bright colors, lively Latin music, zoot suits, and fast-paced dancing signify a nonmainstream culture. A minor scuffle with a rival gang pushes dancers into the streets, where gang territory and switchblades turn Reyna’s brave attempt to end a one-sided conflict into police violence and mass arrests.


Sleepy Lagoon reservoir


Sleepy Lagoon reservoir. Romantic spot in East Los Angeles where young couples meet, and near which the Mexican Americans, attracted by lively music of a birthday party, are mistakenly attacked. The Mexican American youths tell one story, the Anglo youths another.




Courtroom. Place in which Reyna is tried for murder. His trial is a legal farce. The deck is stacked against Mexican Americans, who are regarded as unpatriotic outsiders, and the judge prejudges Reyna’s guilt. The trial itself creates the passion within the play. The boys of Reyna’s gang are looked upon as social delinquents, as criminals, and even as foreigners. At no point during the proceedings are they or their attorney allowed a fair opportunity to present their case. The trial is presented in only two scenes of the first act, but it propels much of the conflict of the play.



Zoot Suit Historical Context



The Sleeply Lagoon Murder and the Zoot Suit Riots

Valdez’s play is loosely based on the events of a 1942 murder, which came to be known as the “Sleepy Lagoon Murder.” On August 1, 1942, a man named Jose Diaz (renamed Jose Williams in the play) was found by the side of a road, bleeding and unconscious. He later died of head trauma; he had been drunk at the time of his attack. Although his wounds could have been inflicted by an automobile, it was determined that he had been the victim of a gang fight that had occurred nearby. Public outcry, fanned by the headlines of the newspapers, resulted in a roundup of hundreds of Mexican-Americans. Henry Leyvas (Henry Reyna in the play) and twenty-one of his friends, who had participated in the fight, were arrested and charged with the murder of Diaz. The young Chicanos sported “zoot suits,” long, baggy trousers topped with long-tailed coats and long “ducktail” hairstyles, the fashion for pachucos or teenage Mexican gang member.


In an outright violation of the gang members’ civil rights, the district attorney requested, and the judge ordered, that the defendants be required to wear their zoot suits during the trial and not be allowed to cut their hair, so that the jury would see that they were “hoodlums.” Further, they were required to stand up whenever their names were mentioned, even when the statements were inflammatory or indemnifying. They were also denied the right to speak with their lawyers. E. Duran Ayers, the Head of the Foreign Relations Bureau, was brought in as an “expert” witness to attest to the “bloodthirsty” nature of Mexicans, descendants of the Aztecs, renowned for their practice of human sacrifice. Ayers’s formal report stated that “the Mexican would forever retain his wild and violent tendencies no matter how much education or training he might receive.” Nine of the men, including Henry Leyvas, were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for second-degree murder.


About six months after the end of the trial, riots broke out in Los Angeles. The riots, known alternatively as the “Zoot Suit Riots” and the “Sailor Riots,” were a xenophobic reaction to the Mexican-American youth gangs, made all the more intense by the events of World War II. In the summer of 1943, a large group of sailors traveled through the Mexican-American community in East Los Angeles in rented cabs, beating up every “zoot suiter” they encountered, including women and young boys who really didn’t fit the pachuco image. In response, the police went after the victims: scores of Mexican-Americans were rounded up in mass arrests. Although a handful of Anglos were arrested, none were charged. The local press fanned the flames of the riots by reporting a “Mexican crime wave” that was being valiantly controlled by the service men. It was not until military officials declared the city of Los Angeles off limits for all military personnel that they riots diminished. In October of 1944, the Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the Judge’s decision on the Sleepy Lagoon case due to legal misconduct, and the 38th Street Gang members were released.


World War II

It is not a coincidence that the Zoot Suit Riots occurred during the heat of World War II. Xenophobia, undue contempt or fear of foreigners, was exacerbated by a perceived threat that Americans of foreign heritage would turn against Anglo-Americans. To prevent this occurrence, thousands of Japanese-Americans, including two hundred Japanese-Latin Americans, were herded into internment camps throughout the West. It was not until 1988 that restitution was made to those who suffered physically, emotionally, and financially from the relocation.


In the 1940s, fear of foreigners extended to numerous cultural groups; Los Angeles had many ethnic neighborhoods, and the presence of military bases full of personnel readying themselves for war made Los Angeles a hot spot for culture clashes and violence. Ironically, of the ethnic groups who enlisted in World War II Mexican-Americans suffered the most casualties.



Zoot Suit Literary Style



Valdez’s Mexican Theatre Forms

Zoot Suit is a combination of actos (or “protest skits”), mitos (“myth”), and corrido (“ballad”); the combination draws upon traditional Mexican songs and dances, traditional stories, and the political activism of Valdez’s previous work with the socially active El Teatro Campesino. The play also has a strong documentary element with its basis in historical events. The result is musical docudrama of epic proportions.


In the beginning of his career, Valdez wrote, or rather orchestrated, since he did not always commit the actos to paper, simple and brief political protest pieces aimed at audiences of migrant workers. Most lasted only fifteen minutes. These actos used masks, simple but exaggerated storylines, and minimal settings and props. Often the actors sported cards proclaiming their generic roles—”worker,” or “patroncito” [manager]—rather than adopting an actual character. Characterization is not important in social protest plays, since the purpose is to condemn acts committed against a people, not a person. Thus Henry Reyna “is” El Pachuco, representing the tragic and self-destructive genre of pachuco gangs as well as their victimization by a xenophobic society.


The mitos moves the allegorical agenda of the actos into the spiritual realm. Valdez created mitos to fulfill his vision of “a teatro of legends and myths.” He told David Savran in an interview for American Theatre that to him, myth is “so real that it’s just below the surface—it’s the supporting structure of our everyday reality.” In a Valdez mito, a mythical character interacts with the other, human, characters and sometimes takes controls the play like an onstage director. El Pachuco was not the first mythical character Valdez used: the Aztec god Quetzalcóatl and a precursor to El Pachuco, La Luna (“the moon”), appear in his allegorical play Bernabé (1970), and a child named Mundo (“earth”) is born to skeletal figures in El fin del mundo (1976; the title means “The End of the Earth”). Comet sightings and symbolic sets and rituals further underscore the presence of myth in these plays. The mythic quality of El Pachuco in Zoot Suit is signaled by his ability to stop and start the action with a snap of his fingers; it is confirmed when he rises, Christ-like, wearing the Christian cross but also dressed in an Aztec loincloth, in Act II, scene vii.


The corrido has a long history in Mexican culture; its presence adds an element of folk art to Valdez’ s plays, being the Hispanic version of the American musical. Valdez’s fusion of these unrelated theatrical forms into a fresh, new, dramatic concept put Chicano theater onto the American theatrical map.


Brechtian Influences and Epic Theatre

In addition to historical and traditional Hispanic elements, Valdez also looked to the Epic Theatre technique pioneered by German playwright Bertolt Brecht (Mother Courage and Her Children). Brecht’s best-known plays were socially conscious works that sought to make audiences think about the playwright’s political agenda. To achieve such results, Brecht turned to “alienation” techniques that prevented the audience from judging his plays on an emotional level, thus freeing them to judge a play’s concepts in a purely intellectual, empirical manner. These techniques included placards that informed the audience of the major plot points that would be unfolding within each act. Brecht also broke up his narratives with satirical songs that jarringly diverted the audience’s attention from episodes that might allow them to form an emotional connection to characters. El Pacucho functions as an alienating device in Zoot Suit, often stopping the action and directly addressing the audience. Valdez’s play also qualifies as Epic Theatre in its use of a wide range of characters across a considerable time period.


Mixing Spanish and English

In areas of the United States with significant Spanish-speaking populations, the practice of mixing Spanish and English in newspaper journalism, radio programming, public signs, and schools as well as in drama has become a hotly contested topic, raising issues of cultural hegemony—whether one language should dominate another. In 1978, to use whole lines of Spanish in a play was to address it primarily to a bilingual audience, although the non-Spanish-speaking members of the audience had little trouble understanding the context of the Spanish. In Zoot Suit, the characters switch to Spanish in moments of intimacy, teasing, and emotional outbursts, as when the 38th Street Gang routs the Downey Gang, and Tommy elatedly proclaims the victory in mixed Spanish and English: “Orale, you did it, ese! Se escamaron todos! [you ran them all out!].”


Julia Alvarez, author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, mixes English with Spanish in her novels. She explained that Spanish is “the language of sensations and emotions, of the day to day.” Duke University professor and poet Gustavo Perez Fermet, author of a collection of poems called Bilingual Blues agreed, saying that “English is very concise and efficient,” while “Spanish has sambrosura, flavor.” In Zoot Suit, the scenes of the trial and the boys’ discussions with George are primarily in English, while the dance and fight scenes have whole passages in Spanish, especially the insults. Official business is communicated in English, while “street” business is communicated in the gang’s vernacular Spanish, which is not formal Spanish but “pachuco” Spanish, full of slang expressions.



Zoot Suit Compare and Contrast



1940s: The Hispanic community and other ethnic groups suffer obvious racism at the hands of the military, the police force, the press, and the judicial system during the xenophobic years of World War II.


1978: Student movements of the last fifteen years seek equal opportunities in education for Chicano children and an end to civil and human rights abuses of Chicano people in the United States. By 1978, however, the Chicano movement is in decline.


Today: Most people uphold their legal and moral obligation to treat all Americans equally. The sense that equality has been achieved has led some institutions, colleges and universities, to remove their Affirmative Action programs, even though true equality does not exist for all ethnic groups or all U. S. citizens.


1940s: The United States joins World War II in 1941. At the time of the Zoot Suit Riots, enlistment in the armed services is at a fever pitch as military bases across the country prepare men and women for the war. There is almost universal support for the United States’ involvement in the war.


1978: After tremendous public pressure, the last U.S. troops left Vietnam in 1973. Anti-war sentiment is still high in 1978, and many veterans are still seen as butchers guilty of horrible war atrocities.


Today: In the last twenty years the United States has been involved in several military offensives but no large-scale wars. Hand-to-hand combat has given way to remote weaponry. Military personnel and veterans are viewed neither as heroes or scapegoats but as people performing assigned jobs.


1940s: Fashions are fairly conservative and universal; there is not much variety in clothing styles for mainstream Americans. Zoot suits are a conspicuous marker of otherness, an attempt by Hispanic men to set themselves apart from Anglo society.


1978: Dressing differently is a fashion rage, from paper dresses to hippies’ bell-bottom jeans. Conventional fashions such as the standard business suit are considered “square” or “uncool.”


Today: Dress is much more casual than the 1940s, yet more conservative than the 1970s. Radical trends, such as body-piercing and tattoos, proclaim the wearer’s statement of opposition against mainstream society.



Zoot Suit Topics for Further Study


What kind of influence does El Pachuco have over Henry? Is his a positive effect or a negative one?


Revolutionary theater attempts to move the audience to reform social injustices. What techniques does Valdez’s play employ in its attempt to sway the audience?


What is the impact of the bilingual aspect of this play on Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish speaking audiences? What does this device say about American culture?


Compare Henry Reyna’s fictional life with the historical Henry Leyvas’s life. Speculate on why Valdez made the choices he did in fictionalizing Henry’s life for the stage.



Zoot Suit Media Adaptations


Zoot Suit was filmed on stage in 1981 by Universal Pictures at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood with segments of cinematic material interspersed, lending occasional moments of realism. It is widely available on VHS.



Zoot Suit What Do I Read Next?



Julia Alvarez’s novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent chronicles the experiences of four sisters who immigrate from the Dominican Republic to the United States, losing their Spanish language and culture before they fully acquire fluency in English. In a similar vein Sandra Cisneros recalls her childhood in a Spanish-speaking section of Chicago in the lyrical vignettes of House on Mango Street.


Ernesto Galarza’s 1971 novel Barrio Boy and Jose Antonio Villareal’s 1970 Pocho both explore growing up in a barrio from a young boy’s perspective.


The 1997 novel Macho! by Victor Villaseñor describes Cesar Chavez’s strike efforts through the eyes of a seventeen-year-old boy who migrates to California from Mexico.


The poems of Ricardo Sánchez in 1971’s Canto y grito me liberación (title means “The Liberation of a Chicano Mind”) explore the ambiguities of living in two worlds, while Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’s epic poem, “I am Joaquin” explores the Chicano identity. Lorna Dee Cervantes’s poems address the erosion of ethnic identity in transplanted families; her “Freeway 280” expresses frustration over urban renewal programs that razed Chicano neighborhoods.


Several films also explore territory similar to Zoot Suit: Robert Redford produced and directed The Milago Beanfield War (1988), an endearing comedy about a group of Mexican-American citizens who resist oppressive big business owners out to abuse the farmers’ civil rights; Edward James Olmos, who plays El Pachuco in Zoot Suit, stars in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), a film about a Chicano murderer that allows the audience to believe in Cortez’s guilt until the last moment; Olmos also directed and starred in a stunning film portrayal of a hardened Chicano prison inmate and his family: American Me (1992).

windshield survey example paper

windshield survey example paper

Windshield Survey

Maggie Siler

Ferris State University








Windshield Survey

Community assessment is crucial to planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs to improve the health of a population. A windshield survey is an informal method used by community health nurses to obtain basic knowledge about a given community. It provides a subjective view of the various physical characteristics of a communal area as observed while driving or walking through a neighborhood.


Community assessment is an essential function of community nursing. Understanding the various types of community will help clarify the process. The first type of community described is a “geopolitical community” (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 177). It is an aggregate of people living or working in a defined geographic area. The second is “phenomenological community” (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 177), which is a collection of people sharing common interests, or philosophies and inter/intra personal connections. Borders for this type of community are not as clear as a geopolitical community. A phenomenological community can exist within a geopolitical community. An example of this is the homeless. The third is a broader view, encompassing a society, a nation, or the international community of the world as we know it.

Community Health

Community health is usually focused on a specific geographic region. In this way, specific epidemiological data can be obtained, and a precise community “report card” (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 181) can be created. From there specific interventions, including measurable goals can be planned to address specific risks identified in the community.


Community as client

Community as a client requires collaborative practice among nurses, epidemiologists, genetic counselors, and social workers (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 180), among others, to achieve health promotion. There are many resources available within our various communities to encourage health. A major nursing role is to assess deficits, and identify community assets for implementation of change to improve community health.

Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator

A leading health indicator that must continue to be addressed is tobacco abuse in the adult population (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010, p. 3). Nursing has a great role in creating evidence based change for this indicator. In the authors work setting, nurses can provide education toward secondary or tertiary prevention (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 72) at the point of care for acute cardiac care. Nurses can also become involved in primary prevention by forming collaborative relationships with various community agencies to educate the public about risks and prevention. Nursing’s voice can also be heard through political expression. Membership in professional organizations and exercising our right to vote can also pave the way to primary prevention, and better health for all.


Nursing’s role in community health is crucial. Important skills are; knowledge of various community types, strong assessment skills, and understanding of health risks and vulnerable populations. Utilization of available resources and working collaboratively with other professionals are steps to improving overall health of the population.




Housing and zoning

Homes are mainly detached single family dwellings. They are well maintained. Primary construction materials are brick and board. All are modernized with plumbing and central heat. In town homes have smaller yards than township homes. All are well cared for.


Transportation is mainly by private car. There are many walkers and cyclists observed. There is also a public bus system available that offers a fixed schedule.

Roads are in good condition, with main highways readily available to serve businesses and residents. A health concern is that some of the busier roads are dangerous for walkers and cyclists due to lack of/inadequate sidewalks/crossings. There is a paved recreational trail for public use.

Race and ethnicity

Mainly Caucasian. There are a few African Americans, and Asians noted. There are no overt indicators of ethnicity observed. A local resident would recognize that many of the nail salons are owned and operated by people of Asian descent.


Open space

There are many parks and open spaces available. Along the bay front there is a large, well maintained park and public boat launch. The streets are tree lined. There is a lush 60+ acre park with many varieties of trees, and streams including public trails. Many homeless people and teens use this area as a place to drink, which poses a potential health concern for all. The physical grounds for this area were a former state psychiatric hospital, which has been reclaimed from decay. The buildings are gradually being renovated and provide space for businesses, condominiums, low income housing, senior housing, and office space.


Service centers

The social security and post offices are within walking distance. There is a large, easily accessible hospital, and many physician and dental offices, also within walking distance. There are several parks that are well used and maintained. There is even a dog park where people can take their pets for exercise. It is fenced in and well used.

Religion and politics

There is religious heterogeneity noted. On one corner there is a large Lutheran church; on another is a Jewish temple. A couple of blocks away a large Catholic church is noted. There are two smaller churches located in the neighborhood. Evidence is observed that they are not used only for Sunday service. There are posters for various community meetings, and shared sponsorship for events such as Safe Harbor, which helps shelter our homeless in the winter.


The boundaries of this neighborhood are mainly natural. On the east is the Boardman Lake, on the north is Grand Traverse Bay, the west is bordered by highway M 72, and the east is bordered by Airport Road. The unofficial description for this neighborhood is the west side, which includes bits of Old Town Traverse City, and Garfield township.

Stores and street people

There are several local grocery stores/meat markets that are accessible by car, bicycle, or foot. The flourishing downtown area offers many fine restaurants and bars, as well as specialty stores.

Most people observed on the streets are walkers/joggers, and pedestrians making their way to a destination. Children are seen walking to/from school. There are occasional homeless people noted. All are dressed accordingly, except the teens that seem to think shorts are O.K. year round. The only stray animals are the occasional cat. Most dogs are either leashed or escorted by ownersA few people do not feel leashes are necessary. Dog’s that are not leashed in a public setting pose a health hazard.

Health and morbidity

The most obvious chronic disease conditions are obesity and tobacco abuse. Both of these conditions are serious health hazards. It is not uncommon to observe severely obese individuals/families in this community. A few compound the issue by smoking. Since Michigan banned smoking in restaurants and bars, this phenomena is much less obvious. It is still noticeable when following the car of a smoker, as one can easily smell the tobacco. Many of the homeless observed have mental health issues, as they are often in conflict with local law enforcement. Both our excellent regional referral hospital and the local Veterans Affairs clinic are within walking distance.


The major common area for this neighborhood is downtown Traverse City. There are many attractions for all to enjoy. Many interesting specialty stores, coffee shops, theaters, event centers,

Micro-breweries, bars and restaurants make the entire downtown area a strong draw for all. Hours are mainly six A.M. to three A.M. Both locals as well as visitors enjoy the downtown and waterfront year round.


Signs of decay

This neighborhood is very alive and on the way up. Traverse City is a popular place to live and work. The described neighborhood is very desirable for all the reasons described above. Store fronts are occupied and busy, homes and yards are well maintained, and schools/churches are busy and are a vital part of the community.


The most common media has become the smart phone. People are able to review local news, weather, and sports at a moment’s notice, all while on the go. The local newspaper is still a popular way to stay connected, as there is evidence of many regularly used home delivery tubes. Cable television is also popular for sporting events, as well as news and weather. The only outdoor antennas are satellite dishes.



Harkness, G. A., & DeMarco, R. F. (2012). Community and public health nursing evidence for practice. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Healthy people 2020. Retrieved from http://healthypeople.gov/2020/TopicsObjectives2020/pdfs/HP2020_brochure_with_LHI_508.pdf



Hypothetical thinking involves “If . . . then . . .” reasoning. According to some psychologists, the mental model for hypothetical thinking is built into our brain and enables us to understand rules and predict the consequences of our actions. We’ll be looking at the use of hypothetical reasoning in ethics in greater depth in Chapter 9. Hypothetical arguments are also a basic building block of computer programs.

A hypothetical syllogism is a form of deductive argument that contains two premises, at least one of which is a hypothetical or conditional “if . . . then” statement.

Hypothetical syllogisms fall into three basic patterns: modus ponens (affirming the antecedent), modus tollens (denying the consequent), and chain arguments.

Modus Ponens

In a modus ponens argument, there is one conditional premise, a second premise that states that the antecedent, or if part, of the first premise is true, and a conclusion that asserts the truth of the consequent, or the then part, of the first premise. For example:

Premise 1: If I get this raise at work, then I can pay off my credit-card bill.

Premise 2: I got the raise at work.

Conclusion: Therefore, I can pay off my credit-card bill.

A valid modus ponens argument, like the one above, takes the following form:

If A (antecedent), then B (consequent).


Therefore, B.

Sometimes the term then is omitted from the consequent, or second, part of the conditional premise:

If the hurricane hits the Florida Keys, we should evacuate.

The hurricane is hitting the Florida Keys.

Therefore, we should evacuate.

Modus ponens is a valid form of deductive reasoning no matter what terms we substitute for A and B. In other words, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Thus:

If Barack Obama is president, then he was born in the United States.

Barack Obama is president.

Therefore, he was born in the United States. C

In this case, the first premise is true because the U.S. Constitution requires that the president be “a natural born citizen.” Therefore, the argument is a sound argument.

It is important not to deviate from this form in a modus ponens argument. If the second premise affirms the consequent (B) rather than the antecedent (A), the argument is invalid and the conclusion may be false, even though the premises are true.

If Oprah Winfrey is president, then she was born in the United States.

Oprah Winfrey was born in the United States.

Therefore, Oprah Winfrey is president.

But of course, as we all know, Oprah Winfrey is not president of the United States. This deviation from the correct form of modus ponens is known as the fallacy of affirming the consequent.

Modus Tollens

In a modus tollens argument, the second premise denies the consequent, and the conclusion denies the truth of the antecedent:

If A (antecedent), then B (consequent).

Not B.

Therefore, not A.

Here is an example of a modus tollens argument:

If Morgan is a physician, then she has graduated from college.

Morgan did not graduate from college.

Therefore, Morgan is not a physician.

Like modus ponens, modus tollens is a valid form of deductive reasoning. No matter what terms we substitute for the antecedent (A) and consequent (B), if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. If we change the form by changing the first premise to read “If not A, then B,” we commit the fallacy of denying the antecedent.

Chain Arguments

Chain arguments are made up of three conditional propositions—two premises and one conclusion— linked together. A chain argument is a type of imperfect hypothetical syllogism since it may contain more than three propositions.

If A, then B.

f B, then C.

Therefore, if A, then C.

The following is an example of a chain argument:

If it rains tomorrow, then the beach party is canceled.

If the beach party is canceled, we’re having a party at Rachel’s house.

Therefore, if it rains tomorrow, we’re having a party at Rachel’s house.

Just as some arguments by elimination are syllogisms and others are not, we can have a longer chain argument that is still a deductive argument but not a syllogism because it has more than two premises. For example:

If A, then B.

If B, then C.

If C, then D.

Therefore, if A, then D.

Here is an example of a chain argument with three premises:

If you don’t go to class, you won’t pass the final exam.

If you don’t pass the final exam, then you won’t pass the course.

If you don’t pass the course, then you won’t graduate this year.

Therefore, if you don’t go to class, you won’t graduate this year.

A chain argument is valid if it follows the form of using the consequent of the previous premise as the antecedent in the next premise, and so on, with the conclusion using the antecedent from the first premise (A) and the consequent in the last premise (D).



hypothetical syllogism : A deductive argument that contains two premises, at least one of which is a conditional statement.

modus ponens: A hypothetical syllogism in which the antecedent premise is affirmed by the consequent premise.

modus Tollens: A hypothetical syllogism in which the antecedent premise is denied by the consequent premise.

chain arguments: A type of imperfect hypothetical argument with three or more conditional propositions linked together.

Evaluating Hypothetical Syllogisms for Validity

Not all hypothetical syllogisms are laid out in standard syllogistic form. If an argument isn’t already in standard form, put it in standard form with the conditional premise first and the conclusion last. In the case of a chain argument, begin by listing the premise containing the antecedent from the conclusion. In 1758, Ben Franklin offered this bit of wisdom in his famous Poor Richard’s Almanac: For want of a Nail the Shoe was lost; For want of a Shoe the Horse was lost; For want of a Horse, the Rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; For want of Care about the Horse-Shoe Nail, the Rider is lost. Let’s test the validity of Franklin’s argument by writing it out as a hypothetical syllogism, in this case a chain argument:

If a nail is missing (A), then the horseshoe will be lost (B).

If the horseshoe is lost (B), then the rider is lost (C).

If the nail is missing (A), then the rider is lost (C).

By rewriting this as a hypothetical syllogism, we can see that it is a valid argument. In some cases, it may be too awkward to restate each use of the antecedents and consequents using the exact same language as in Franklin’s argument. In these cases, it is acceptable to use everyday language as long as the meaning remains the same each time it is used. Otherwise, the argument commits the fallacy of equivocation.

A hypothetical syllogism is valid if it follows one of the forms discussed in this chapter—modus ponens, modus tollens, or chain argument. If you are uncertain whether a hypothetical syllogism is valid, you can also try substituting different terms for those used in the argument under evaluation.

Not all valid arguments are sound. As we noted earlier, a deductive argument can be valid by virtue of its form but still be unsound because one of the premises is false. Rewording arguments in ordinary language in the form of a hypothetical syllogism can help you expose the faulty premises. Suppose you are looking for a new cell phone and find two models that seem to suit your needs—a Sony and a Motorola. Both have similar features, but the Sony costs more than the Motorola. So you think: The Sony cell phone costs more, so it should be the better phone. I think I’ll buy the Sony. Putting your argument in the form of a hypothetical syllogism, we have this:

If a product is expensive, then it must be good.

This brand of cell phone is expensive.

Therefore, it must be good.

However, the first premise is false. Not all expensive products are good, nor are all inexpensive products of poor quality. Therefore, this is an unsound argument. Unfortunately, many people fall for this line of reasoning. Indeed, some clever marketers have found that when they increase the price of certain items, such as jewelry or clothing, it actually sells better!

Putting an argument in the form of a hypothetical syllogism can be helpful in clarifying what’s at stake. Consider this argument from the abortion debate:

If a being is a person (A), then it is morally wrong to kill that being except in self-defense (B).

The fetus is a person (A).

Therefore, it is morally wrong to kill the fetus except in self-defense (B).







Modus Ponens Modus Tollens Chain Argument
If A, then B. If A, then B. If A, then B.
A. Not B. If B, then C.
Therefore, B. Therefore, not A. Therefore, if A, then C.



Judith Jarvis Thomson, in her essay “A Defense of Abortion” (which we will read at the end of Chapter 9), recognizes the strength of this type of deductive reasoning and acknowledges that she must accept the conclusion if she accepts the premises as true. She also realizes that the only way to reject this argument—since it is a valid argument—is to show that one of the premises is false and there- fore the argument is unsound. Otherwise, she must accept the conclusion. Since she can’t prove that the fetus is not a person, she tentatively accepts the second premise as true. Instead, she questions the first premise, arguing that there may be circumstances when we can kill another person for reasons other than self-defense.

Hypothetical arguments are common in everyday reasoning. In addition to being used in promises and ultima- tums (see “Critical Thinking in Action: Empty Promises: If This, Then That—Making Promises and Threats” on page 249), they can be used to spell out the outcomes of certain choices you make in your life: for example, the necessary antecedents you’ll need to graduate from college or go on graduate school.


Exercise 8-3

#3. Think of an issue or goal that is important in your life. Write a hypothetical syllogism related to the issue or goal. Evaluate the syllogism for validity and soundness.

The Pillow Method Shifting

The Pillow Method Shifting

MINI-ASSIGNMENT #1: The Pillow Method

The Pillow Method was developed by a group of Japanese school children; the pillow method gets its name from the fact that a problem has four sides and middle, just like a pillow.


Position 1–I’m right and you’re wrong

This is the perspective that we usually take when viewing an issue. We immediately see the virtues in our position and find fault with anyone who happens to disagree with us.

Position 2–You’re right and I’m wrong

At this point you switch perspectives and build the strongest possible arguments to explain how another person can view the issue differently from you. Besides identifying the strengths in the other’s position, this is the time to play the devil’s advocate and find flaws in yours.

The goal of position 2 is to find some way of comprehending how anyone could think or behave in a way that you originally found hard to understand.

Position 3–We’re both right, both wrong

From this position you acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s arguments. Taking a more evenhanded look at the issue can lead you to be less critical and more understanding of another’s point of view.

The perspective of position 3 should help you see that the issue isn’t as much a matter of complete right and wrong as it first appeared to be.

Position 4–This issue isn’t as important as it seems

This is where you pick and choose your battles. Of course, some things you can just let go. If the issue is really important to you, you should openly discuss it with the other person. Just keep in mind that the importance of a dispute can fade when you realize that it may not be as important as you originally thought.

Position 5–There is truth in all four perspectives

After completing the first four positions, a final step is to recognize that each of them has some merit. It is almost certain that you will gain new insights. These insights may not cause you to change your mind or even solve the problem, but they can increase your tolerance for the other person’s position and thus improve the communication climate.

Written Assignment: Shifting Perspectives: The Pillow Method

Select a disagreement that may be affecting a relationship at home or work. Record enough background information for an outsider to understand the issue. Who is involved? How long has the disagreement been going on? What are the basic issues involved? Describe the issue from each of the four positions listed below. Record your conclusions at the end of the exercise.

Background Information

Position 1: Explain how you are right and the other person is wrong.

Position 2: Explain how the other person’s position is correct, or at least understandable.

Position 3: Show that there are both correct (or understandable) and mistaken (or unreasonable) parts of both positions.

Position 4: Describe at least two ways in which the elements developed in positions 1-3 might affect your relationship. Describe at least one way in which the issue might be seen as more important than it was originally.

Conclusion: Explain how there is some truth in each of the preceding positions. Also explain how viewing the issue from each side has changed your perception of the issue and how it may change your behavior in the future. Explain how this issue and your understanding of it may affect your relationship.

cyte medical term

cyte medical term


1. Since every medical term should have a suffix, knowing  the meaning of a suffix is a crucial part to understanding the meaning of a medical term. Choose three medical terms with different suffixes and explain their meanings.

2. The suffix -cyte means cell or blood cell. Write all the terms that have the suffix -cyte including the different types of blood cells. Explain what the terms mean and refer to the functions and different characteristics of all blood cells (Make sure you also explain the 5 types of White blood cells).

3. Prefixes add description to medical terms. They can indicate location, time, and amount. Provide three medical terms with prefixes that describe location, time and amount in a medical term. Divide them, label them and give their meaning.

4. Some suffixes and prefixes are opposites. Provide one set of suffixes or prefixes that are opposites.