The overall mood of the story “American Story” is sadness. The story is told from the perspective of a ninth grade, Puerto Rican, girl. It takes place on one of the saddest days in American history. It is the day of President Kennedy’s death. The girl struggles to “feel the right thing” while dealing with her own painful experiences.
In the beginning of the story, the girl describes the building where she lives. Usually you can hear loud salsa music coming from the open windows. This day there is no music. Everything is silent, even the screeching children that are usually playing outside. She explains that President Kennedy was a saint to these people. The have quieted to mourn for him.
The young girl talks about how she hates school. She explains that this day was a very cold day. She had forgotten her gloves at home, and the jump rope she was swinging was turning her hands raw and making them hurt. The girl at the other end of the rope started making fun of her and started calling her “Skinny Bones”. She was humiliating her by asking her if she had forgotten to eat her rice, beans, and pork chops. The other girls joined in making fun of her. She felt envy because she could not jump rope as fast as the other girls.
She talks about the Jewish family that lived in the only regular house on their block. She tells how she could see their kitchen table from her window. She new when the couple was fighting and when one of them was sick. During her last week of school she had not seen the old man at the table. Then she saw a crowed in the kitchen. She had seen the old woman finally emerge from the house on a young girls arm and a man carrying suitcases. She knew the old man had died.
The only happy thing that happens for this young girl is the boy Eugene that moves in to the house the old couple lived in. She liked Eugene right away. She could see him sitting at the kitchen table reading books for... [continues]
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