Need Help Writing a Paper?

Have Paper Masters custom write your project today!

  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Free Plagiarism Check
  • Writing at Your Level
  • Writers All Have Advanced Degrees
  • Will Follow Specific Instructions
Need Help Writing a Paper?
Yes! Write My Paper!

Valley of Dead Air

placeholder - Image coming soon

Hawaiian writer Gary Pak's short story "The Valley of Dead Air" begins with the death of a native man, Jacob Hookano, and the horrible smell that invades the Waiola Valley. The smell is the central metaphor of the story; its arrival and departure are central to understanding Pak's purpose. All of this is wrapped up in a story that is otherwise comical in its presentation. Ultimately, the smell is every wrongdoing that has been perpetrated on the native Hawaiian people.

At first, the residents think that a Kona wind has brought in the smell from a different part of the island. Joseph Correa, however, suspects that the government is somehow behind the smell. But mysterious ghostly laughter that comes from Jacob Hookano's house leads everyone to suspect that he is somehow responsible for the smell, as an act of revenge.

The local residents of Waiola Valley become convinced that Hookano has cursed them with this smell. In order to get rid of this curse, they arrange for public confessions of any wrongs that may have been done to Hookano while he was alive. As the confessions take place, many people come to believe that the smell comes from the fact that the Locals (whites) were never able to truly form a connected community with this native man.

  • Hookano is upset because no one ever paid any attention to him in life, and has cursed the Valley in death.
  • Darrell Mineda states, "Maybe das why he got all salty. Nobody pay attention to him. Nobody talk story with him. Nobody go bother him".
  • Another resident, Joseph Correa, makes a personal confession that he once cheated Hookano and stole a woman away from him. Correa told this woman's parents that Hookano did not have a penis.

However, we learn that the unspoken guilt of the town comes from the fact that all of the land of the Valley once belonged to Hookano's family. This land was stolen away from the Hookano family in the same way that Correa stole his wife away from Jacob. Native Hawaiians were "castrated" by the whites and displaced from the lands they had inhabited for centuries. This idea emerges in a conversation between Mineda and Earl Fritzhugh:

"Somebody tol' me all dah land in dis valley used to be [Jacob's] family's land, long time ago. Den dah Cox family wen come in and take dah land away from his family. Somet'ing about Jacob's family not paying dah land tax or water tax or someting li'dat, and dah haole wen pay instead."

Related Research Paper Topic Suggestions

Ahdaf Soueifs 1964 - In her short story "1964," novelist and political commentator Ahdaf Soueif recounts the journey of Aisha, an Egyptian teen, during her relocation from Egypt to London.

A Problem By Anton Chekhov - A Problem by Anton Chekhov essays summarize the short story by Russian author Anton Chekhov.

Araby James Joyce - Research papers on Araby by James Joyce discuss the world literature work by James Joyce telling the story of North Richmond Street boys, whose imaginative play belies their drab surroundings.

Blue Hotel - Blue Hotel research papers examine one of Stephan Crane's most disturbing short stories.

Cathedral - Cathedral research papers examine Raymond Carver's short story about a blind man helping another man see.

Herman Melville Bartleby The Scrivener - Herman Melville Bartleby the Scrivener research papers look into the various meanings found in the short story written by Herman Melville.

Junot Diaz - Junot Diaz Research Papers delve into a collection of short strories that provide a look into the culture of Dominicans in New York City.

Nobody ever dies - Nobody Ever Dies research papers examine the short story by Ernest Hemingway.

Short Story of Shiloh - Short Story of Shiloh Research Papers look at an example of topics that one can write on when doing research on Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason.

Snows of Kilimanjaro - The Snows of Kilimanjaro essays are custom written on Hemingway's short story. Study the interior monoluge or the characters within the novel to understand one of Hemingway's most well-known stories.

Soy La Avon Lady and Other Short Stories - Soy LA Avon Lady and Other Short Stories Research Papers discuss short stories that deal with race, gender, and sexuality issues.

The Bet By Anton Chekhov - The Bet by Anton Chekhov essays examine a short story written by Russian author Anton Chekhov in 1889.

The Blue Hotel Summary - A summary on The Blue Hotel discuss the short story by Stephen Crane about a young man who gets in trouble during a stay at the Palace Hotel.

The Cask of Amontillado - The Cask of Amontillado research papers analyze Edgar Allen Poe's short story about revenge. Paper Masters is a research paper service like none other.

Tolstoy Short Stories - Essays on Tolstoy's short stories discuss the author examines the human condition in his short stories and major works.

Under African Skies - Under African Skies Research Papers go into a collection of African short stories with a variety of different themes.

Paper Masters

  • Custom Written Papers
  • 100% Plagiarism Free
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Guaranteed Confidentiality
  • Text us for a Quote Today!

This is a topic on
Valley of Dead Air Research Papers

The Valley of Dead Air Research Papers discuss the short story by Gary Pak about a native Hawaiian man dies, and a smell that lingers over the valley.

Choosing a Topic:

Can't decide on a topic? Need ideas or inspiration for research in your field of study? Paper Masters provides topic suggestions to make your decision easier.

Paper Masters Site Search