El Tonto Del Barrio

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“El Tonto Del Barrio”

Humbleness and charity towards one another is one of the lessons “El Tonto del Barrio” illustrates to the readers through the protagonist of the story, Romero Estrado. The story begins describing with very specific details the life of “El Cotorro” or Romero. Mr. Armas continues the story inviting all of the people from “El Barrio” to come along in the story to show their influence in the life of Romero. What happens in the story, Mr. Romero seems to be the happiest person from el Barrio. He always whistles joyfully and sings songs as he sweeps the sidewalks every morning for all of his neighbors. The Tortilleria America, The XXX Liquor Store, and the Barelas Barber Shop are some of the places he stops by to clean. Everybody in the neighborhood greets him and they all pay him with food and protection but not with money.

The real concern about this story was when Seferino wanted to pay Romero for his work, “Mira, Romero yo te doy 50 centavos por cada dia que barras la banqueta” (Armas, 123), “Fifty cents for every day you sweep the sidewalk for us”. A real change starts with this action, you see Romero doesn’t need any money he has everything he needs, the stores give him food and take care of him. It is great for Seferino trying to help someone, but in this case it shouldn’t be Romero, because he’s taken care of by the barrio. Romero didn’t have any concern with money, so he accepted it, “hecho”, “Done” (Armas, 123). You see now this story is now developing towards Romero, because Seferino has made Romero think that he needs to charge for his work, now why would he?, if he is the happiest person on the barrio. What would make Seferino think that Romero has a bad life, why does he think Romero needs money? Money isn’t the answer here, the stores feed Romero, so they loose money, if the stores paid Romero, Romero would still not have money because he needs to buy food, you see Seferino want Romero to start being a normal person, but he...
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