The Latin Deli

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I. An Examination of Characters

1. Select 5 stories and then create a character analysis on each main and favorite character

Dear Joaquin: In this letter, the depressive angst is almost surely palpable. Olga is hopelessly in love. It seems a man took her virginity, her purity, and left her in an anxious state of expectancy. A one night stand in which she gave her whole being to a fraud made her believe she knows what love is. She exhausts the word love saying “me, the woman who truly loves you” and “this is unbearable, mi amor”. Joaquin has completely forgotten the narrator for “ten months have passed and not a word” from him and that’s not to mention the fact that he’s living with another woman, two actually. Olga is blinded by love and although she writes that he “hides like a frightened child” behind his “mama’s big bottom, under Rosaura’s mambo skirts” she cannot accept the fact that he’s moved on. Olga could spend her entire life waiting on Jaoquin and signing letters “Amor y besos, Olga” to which she will never receive a reply.

Paterson Public Library: The character is so enthralled by her “pillared palace of the Paterson Public Library” and the greed for experiences of the adventures inside. She describes herself as rummaging through the stacks “like the beggar invited to the wedding feast,” starving for books. The narrator is so inviting and easy to connect with because she is a child and loves to read (which is ironic considering we are reading this book). She’s intrigued by a world of knowledge that it so incomprehensibly vast it’s hard to bear. The foil, Lorraine in this story further emphasized how much the narrator treasures knowledge.

Eva, the main character in By love Betrayed, is as innocent little girl who does not yet know she should be ashamed of her father and who still has an undying love for him despite her mother’s warnings that her father is a sinner. She says “When my mother got angry at my father, she made me think of a hurricane. Blowing him away from us with her screams and her tears.” Eva loves her father so much that she even dreams of him and longs for more time with him, wishing he didn’t “work” so much. Her love and quite curiosity is what causes her to skip school to attempt to see her papi. Perhaps a third grader is too young to realize that her father is cheating on her mother but at the end of the story when she’s “trying for a ‘devil smile’” to match her father’s we get feeling that she can sense something is wrong but chooses to ignore it for love.

The main character in The Witch’s Husband, despite the title, is the grandmother. She is a kind, compassionate woman who “with five children of her own, had found a way to help many others.” She is a stubborn one though when need be especially for her family as in the case of her husband “she insists on taking care of the old man” even “though she has been warned that her heart might fail in her sleep.” The grandmother is also wise, worthy of her title at the top of the chain in ancestry. Her story of the witch’s husband answered her granddaughter’s unasked question. She sensed the troubled situation would try to be persuaded by logic but her devotion to her loved one and his for her, cannot be settled till death. No separation till death.

El Arabe in the story Not for Sale is one who should be analyzed because of his different culture and want, just like the Latinos, to make a living for his family in America. The girl’s lack of understanding when she says “I nodded, not really understanding why he was telling me all this” shows she is still as adolescent. She is polite but still naïve to the adult world. El Arabe is too persistent to recognize this because the only goal on his mind is to bring his son to America. El Arabe is blinded by this goal and persists in even offering “to bargain with [her] father over what [she] was worth in this transaction.” El Arabe’s negligence to ask the girl but rather ask her father...
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