Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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Donny McCorquodale Character Analysis

A friend of Brother Cappy and Mike Tritico, who rebelled against his strict religious upbringing during his youth but is now loved for his “spontaneous acts of kindness” and daredevil embrace of danger. He argues with Tritico about the government’s role in Louisianans’ lives and safety—specifically, he argues that it should not shut down the I-10 bridge whose foundations have been threatened by the Condea Vista chemical leak. He exemplifies the Cowboy.

Donny McCorquodale Quotes in Strangers in Their Own Land

The Strangers in Their Own Land quotes below are all either spoken by Donny McCorquodale or refer to Donny McCorquodale . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The New Press edition of Strangers in Their Own Land published in 2016.
Chapter 13 Quotes

“We need Mikes.” Don't be a Cowboy in enduring pollution, he seemed to say. Be a Cowboy fighting it.

Related Symbols: The Bayou Corne Sinkhole
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
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Donny McCorquodale Character Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the character Donny McCorquodale appears in Strangers in Their Own Land. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12 – The Cowboy: Stoicism
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...is permitted to sit at the men’s table, so she can hear Mike argue with Donny, “the man [she is] eager to meet.” (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Hochschild first describes Donny as “a retired telephone company worker who hates regulators.” He grew up with a strictly... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
The guests serve the food and say their prayers. Donny and Mike Tritico sit across from one another; they are both “white, churchgoing residents of... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...bridge, adhering to the “precautionary principle” that government should first and foremost “do no harm.” Donny says that Condea Vista could not have predicted the effects of their leak, but Tritico... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...Condea Vista should “have to pay” if they are found responsible for weakening the bridge; Donny replies that “you can’t always be ready to blame the company” but Mike asks, “what... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
...thinks the government should prevent an accident “if there’s a known way to prevent it.” Donny thinks this gets in the way of people’s “independent decisions” and says that, if someone... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Mike wonders, “how could it be my own fault that I got hurt or killed?” Donny explains that “real people—not the government” should be in charge of deciding “what is or... (full context)
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Hochschild notes that Donny and Mike’s debate reflects a broader trend about Louisianans’ fears of pollution. She notes a... (full context)
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
They also have differing perspectives on honor. Donny sees honor as a function of bravery, but Mike “wanted to reduce the need for... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...suggests that, in terms of regulation, “Louisiana is a Cowboy kind of state” that carries Donny’s attitude toward risk: enduring risk, even when the risk is unnecessary, proves one’s strength and... (full context)
Chapter 15 – Strangers No Longer: The Power of Promise
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...her last visit, about half of Hochschild’s friends in Louisiana backed Trump. Janice Areno and Donny McCorquodale were ardent supporters; Mike Schaff preferred Ted Cruz. Jackie Tabor, Harold and Annette Areno,... (full context)
Chapter 16 – “They Say There Are Beautiful Trees”
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
...to maintain his old racecars and campaign for anti-EPA Tea Party candidates. Mike Tritico and Donny McCorquodale continue their lively discussions over dinner at Brother Cappy and Sister Fay’s—now, they are... (full context)