Salvador Late or Early. (Struggles of an Urban Child)

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Salvador Late or Early: Response to Literature Essay
Poverty and stress take away the pleasures of childhood from the children unfortunate to be born into such families. In Salvador Late or Early, a short story by Sandra Cisneros, tells us about the stressful lifestyle of an underprivileged boy named Salvador. Salvador The author believes Salvador is an interesting character because he’s a boy with responsibilities of an adult, he is a solitary and misunderstood kid at school, and because throughout all the pain and suffering he’s been through, he remains unbroken.

First of all, Cisneros thinks Salvador is interesting because he’s so young yet so much responsibility is thrown on to his shoulders. He is merely a child him himself and yet, he is unjustly expected to look after his “string of younger brothers”. An older brother, a baby-sitter, a loving parent, a student; all the titles that can be given to Salvador. For each title he must fulfill its expectations and responsibilities. He must look after his younger brothers like an older brother should, he must take his brother’s everywhere and keep them safe like a babysitter, he must give them love, feed, and dress them like a loving parent, and finally he must complete his assignments as a student. Salvador has so many responsibilities and absolutely nobody to turn to for help; he gets no attention from his one parent, and is expected to act as a parent to his younger brothers, this means he is cursed with a stressful, gloomy childhood he doesn’t even deserve. “…shakes the sleepy brothers awake, ties their shoes, combs their hair with water, feeds them milk and corn flakes from a tin cup in the dim dark of the morning.” A child should be able to enjoy the benefits of not having any stress or responsibilities, yet Salvador is deprived of a real childhood, something so many of us take for granted. The smiling innocent face we imagine when thinking of children is alien to Salvador’s face. “Salvador inside that wrinkled shirt, inside the throat that must clear itself and apologize each time it speaks, inside that forty pound of boy…,” Salvador, a boy with so much strength and determination is being weighed down by the stress of responsibilities he didn’t ask for. To continue, Salvador is a kid often misunderstood and is unknowingly shunned by his peers. “Salvador of the crooked hair and crooked teeth.” This quote shows that Salvador cares not of what others think of him and that he gives little attention to his appearance. This results in many of his peers believing him to be strange and an outsider. His attention is so into looking out and caring for his brother’s that it gives him little time to actually look around at the others and look around at the others and learn to fit in to the styles of clothing the other kids are probably wearing. Nobody truly understands Salvador’s situation, he is just the misfit in the crowd, the boy “whose name the teacher cannot remember, a boy who is no one’s friend,” This quote shows that to people he is just the invisible child they see in the classroom, but never take into consideration what he might be going through. Nobody takes the time to talk to Salvador and give him what he desperately needs in his situation, a friend. He continues to live his solitary life daily with no one ever paying enough attention to Salvador to hear his silent screams for help. Everyone is too busy ignoring him to embrace him, and just leave him to rot and slowly die inside his tiny body so full of silent desperation. Misunderstood, alone, and ignored; Salvador is silently screaming for help but no one answers his pleads. Salvador has no one really to talk to, so it’s hard for him to really develop any communication skills, and lack of communication equals isolation. An isolated Salvador, a misunderstood Salvador, Salvador can be a million things but what he is not, is a happy Salvador.

Finally, although Salvador has indeed been through...
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