It has been clearly depicted in the novel that poverty and the miserable life facing immigrants into the country is the main theme. This has been supported by the cultural background from which immigrants are treated as being people below par and are forced into living very harsh lives simply due to the fact that they are immigrants. This has been clearly expressed in the very first instance when Geraldo goes into the dancehall with Marin. On the dancehall, the reader is well exposed to the fact that the couple did not even get to know each other but merely talked about the fact that Geraldo was a worker at a restaurant. The theme of poverty has been clearly depicted at this part as no formal and civilized modes of introduction and greetings are explained of the meeting between the two.
It is from this fact that the reader is clearly able to recognize the fact that the immigrants’ low life had placed a low standard of living among them as virtually everything was treated as very casual. The meeting that the young couple has is nothing of any serious matter and no discussion that they have despite the fact hat they could be of huge importance to one another in the near future (Bloom 29). In stead, the coupe heads straight to the dance floor and enjoy the moment while the future is left to take care of itself. This is despite of the fact that Marin has been used to attending the dance parties. As is illustrated, she has attended the dance parties at different places but still remains to be very naive and very casual at treating the immigrants. She is not at all concerned about knowing the true roots and meaning that Geraldo has in her life.
Geraldo was an immigrant who went to a foreign country to try and earn a living after living in a devastating life back at home. He doesn’t understand English well so he could not communicate properly with the natives because of the language difference. His background was evident as poor and primitive when he arrived at the US. He was welcomed in town he could not adapt to most of the modern facilities in town such as rental houses for instance he couldn’t understand the meaning of a two bedroom house or the flats. While in the house, he couldn’t find the kitchenettes therefore he found it hard to gain stability with the life in the city. Meanwhile he couldn’t understand other things such as exchange of money and means of sending money. His family never knew his whereabouts but they believed he headed to the north searching for a better life but he could not be traced anymore.
The life of Geraldo wasn’t blessed with riches he was determined to overturn the situation through his hard work and going to a foreign country. He claimed that he did not want to be like his fellow citizens who were waiting for manners from heaven with out making changes in their lives. He is optimistic that he will make it at his life despite his background. He compares his life with a tree that doesn’t have basic ground but grows up to a strong tree. Back in Mexico, people migrated to US to make ends meet. That migration story inspired the young Geraldo to think of having to try his life there. Meanwhile people back home were receiving funding from their fellows in the US working in various fields mostly as farmers. And that was exactly what Geraldo wanted to do in the US. He was in an inspired mood of visiting the US where he accompanied other immigrant who was also in the same mission as he was (Kevane 57).
Geraldo arrives in the United States as a young ready to do farm work. He followed the suite of the other Mexican immigrants who travelled northwards. He wanted to work in the United States farms in order to send money back home. After his death, he might not be seen again since there was no one who knew him and his background in the US. On reaching the US, his life was not that different from home since it wasn’t easy for him to get a job. Therefore he decided he decided to visit various apartments to try and find if he could acquire a job for himself. He went to several apartment s but he could find a job that easy. His aim was to send money back home. His life has always been shown as poor and backward since he could not even make a way in sending money home alone without assistance. He finds the jobs mysterious especially while working in an apartment; it was hard because the houses he worked for were different from the houses he lived back at home that he knew. While in the US his language was just mysterious as it was hard for him to survive in an environment different in language and culture. His culture was rather different from the culture he knew.
Despite all he endured, he had no other way to survive since his life depended entirely on his survival in the US. There he just hard to make things work through forgetting his past experience and at least familiarizing himself with culture of the foreign land. Therefore one evening he decided to make some move to visit dance club a dance club in where he could also see how Americans do their dancing. Fortunately he could dance the rhythm where he made his debut on the dance floor with a lady Marina who happens to know his first name only. The dance between the two became that Marina could remember even after Geraldo died of the accident that happened just he wanted to cross over the road (Bloomfield 56). The death of Geraldo was not quite clear but it might have been because of his display of ignorance that hard followed his life throughout in the story
Marin met Gerald in a while but it was a really a first time them to have met and coincidentally the last time to have met him. Gerald told her his first name only but he never uttered his second name. The dance was really enjoyable for Marin, she liked dances such as salsas and cumbias, she never miss any them was were around her and Gerald was actually the man who made the night since he also dance the rhythm also but it was indeed the last day to see Gerald after all the night companionship. On stepping outside of the club Gerald was ran over by a car which finally diapered, now it was Marin who was in his companion that took charge of his body. When the police arrived at the scene, only they could find empty pockets out. It was a real embarrassment to Marin but it was reflecting his background. His life was actually miserable since there was evidence of his personally and his originally. Basically he could not be identified. When his body reached the hospital, no one bothered to attend to because no one knew his identity and it just Marin who could do so.
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The casual attitude towards life that is lived by the immigrants and the effects of poverty in their lives is also seen right after the two leave the party. A vehicle hits Geraldo and speeds off leaving the dead body right on the ground. Once again, the life of an immigrant has been carelessly handled and in a very casual manner. It is right after the immigrant, Geraldo, comes from a partying mood that he is run on by a speeding car. Carelessness together with very compromising causal attitude when dealing with the life of an immigrant leads to very costly results. The driver to the speeding vehicle is not at all compelled to stop and take responsibility for the actions that he has just done. It turns to be a very twisting even since Marin was the last person that was with Geraldo and has to take responsibility for being the last person to be in the company of the dead young man. At this point of responsibility, Marin again proves how much she lacks any sense of care towards the poor immigrant.
Despite the fact that she had just danced with him, Marin can not tell anything about the man lying half dead on the ground (Kevane 94). This casual attitude proves to be a very shameful thing when she is interrogated by the people and the policemen. Marin has nothing to say about the young man whom she feels heavily indebted to yet they only had a dance. On the other hand, having Marin being held accountable for the lack of seriousness in the life of the young Mexican is also an unfair judgment (Kevane 57). This is due to the fact that Geraldo himself handled his own identity in a very casual manner. Once they have gotten to meet with Marin he does not bother to unveil about himself as ought to be done. He feels very casual and treats himself so. At the point of death, it also comes true that he had no form of identity or anything helpful in his pockets. Geraldo also plays a very important role in portraying his identity in the novel as very casual.
When efforts succeed in arriving him at the hospital, it is in the emergency room that some hopes are glittering on having the life of the poor immigrant finally saved an d taken with seriousness for once. While at the emergency room where all urgency is needed as it is just preempted by its name Marin is still puzzled at the level of casualness that is used in treating the immigrants. It is only an intern doctor who is available to help salvage Geraldo’s life that is really hanging on the line. At this instance, Marin fails to understand the reason as to why life which is very precious in an emergency room is only left in the hands of a single intern without any other help.
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The fact that the intern was dealing all alone and the fact that the intern is till an unqualified doctor professionally really questions, the attitude that is held by the management in the hospital. It is unfortunate that this carelessness expressed in the emergency room (of all the places in the hospital) leads to the death of Geraldo as he waits to be served (Magill 67). It is after such high levels of negligence with life that the doctors and the policemen keep on bombarding Marin with unending questions about Geraldo. If at all appropriate measures could have been taken in conserving the precious life of the immigrant as it is done to the other people, then the many questions could not have been necessary.
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