In the autobiography genre, it can be hard to fully grasp where the author is coming from when he or she describes a point in his or her story without a secondary source. Secondary sources are necessary when understanding the readings of a primary source because of the content that is usually displayed within them. In most cases, secondary sources are used as personal perspectives of the author, outside of the primary topic. Secondary sources don't necessarily have anything to do with the author's storyline in the primary source. The secondary source provides extra information on the primary source and helps you comprehend the writing style and voice that the author uses in his or her autobiography. Within my Field Research Group, we all would agree on a similar conclusion. During my interview time with Logan Johnston, Jake Snow, Mike Chiappini, and Tim McMackin, we agreed that a secondary source is a necessity before reading a primary source. The primary sources we discussed would include; Andre Dubus III's Townie, the diaries of Jack Kerouac, and the literary journalism of George Orwell.
In one of George Orwell's literary journals, Down and Out in Paris and London, through his primary source (Chapters 20, 21, and 25) Orwell describes his life as a "Plongeur", a french word used to describe a dishwasher, in the Auberge kitchen. He goes over the many duties of being a Plongeur, and the scenery within his work environment in the kitchen. He goes into detail of how he despises the Auberge and describes it as a primitive kitchen - not being able to fathom why anyone would want to eat at such a place. This primary source isn't very descriptive about the feelings he has as a Plongeur, it's more about the details of the duties and the scenery of his environment. Within the secondary source though (Chapters 22 and 26), George Orwell describes his true emotion of life as a plongeur and how he feels that the rest of the world views him.