At the dance, they encounter their rival gang, the Downey gang. After the fight, Henry and his gang leave the dance. Henry and his girlfriend, Della, drive to Sleepy Lagoon, a reservoir where youngsters come to socialize. Mistaking the noise as a party, Henry and Della go to the house. A few days later, Henry and his fellow gang members are arrested and charged for the murder of Jose Williams.

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While at this dance, they encounter their rivals, the Downey Gang. This results in the 38th Street Gang leaving the party. Henry and Della decide to go to the ranch, where the Downey Gang are harassing the residents. Mistaking Henry and his friends for the troublesome Downey Gang, a group from the Williams ranch attacks them. Henry and the 38th Street Gang members are soon arrested and charged with the murder of Jose Williams. Evidence clearly shows that the Downey Gang members are responsible for the death of Jose Williams, but the jury is strongly prejudiced against the 38th Street Gang members, largely because of their race.

Despite the efforts of George Shearer , their lawyer, and Alice Bloomfield , a white journalist and activist, the 38th Street Gang members are unfairly sentenced to time in prison. The boys are sent to San Quentin Prison, where they waited for their appeal to go through. During this time, Henry develops a crush on Alice despite still being involved with his girlfriend Della. George Shearer, their lawyer, is drafted to serve in the war.

Henry gets sent to solitary confinement after pushing a prison guard. Throughout the events of the play, he is visited by a vision of El Pachuco, the archetype of the zoot suit-wearing Chicano.

While the gang is in jail, the Zoot Suit Riots break out all over Los Angeles and neighboring cities. The boys are eventually released from jail, winning their appeal. The end of the play presents three potential fates for Henry. In the first path, Henry goes back to jail and dies due to stress. In the second path, Henry serves in the war and dies as a hero serving his country. Finally, in the third path, Henry gets married and has children.


Luis Valdez

Shelves: plays The story itself was excellent, and an important one. The play was very very well put together and its progression and character development was incredible; with the natural dialog between the characters the more you read the more the characters seemed to stick and with each having there own personality it never felt repetitive with the character or as if one of the main characters was pointless. The storytelling felt like a chain reaction where one event led to another and so on it just always felt in motion and never slowed down. This play had one of the most satisfying but yet very unique ending without saying much about it. A around World War II. The play author Luis Valdez grabs the readers attention throughout the play by show brief evidence of the racial collision in L.


Zoot Suit Summary

The group from Downey Gang were kicked out of the party after demanding more beer. Meanwhile, a group of men and women from 39th street drove their cars to the nearby swimming hole and lovers lane, dubbed "Sleepy Lagoon," also on the Williams Ranch. Also with them was friend Bobby Telles. As the group socialized, three men pulled up and began yelling insults, met equally with words from Leyvas. The three drove off.

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