"People may find the transitory quality of much American life startle."

There is no one form of the adjective that goes after 'find' + an object. For example, we say:

  • I find it amazing that he speaks English so well!

  • The police found the house abandoned.

  • I find him crude and rude.

    In each case, 'to be' is ellipted in the construction. The adjective modifies the object.

    In your original sentence, Coco, the people are startled by the quality of American life, so that quality is startling.
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