Blind in Granada
The gypsies were from a immigrant community and are included in the story to highlight the multiracial composition of Granada. In addition, they contribute to the stereotypical theme evident in the book since they only have a liking for Mexicans. Furthermore, their ruthlessness in dealing with perceived enemies serves to show the effects of the war. Hence, they portray the place as being dangerous. This creates an element of suspense in the story, which in turn makes it even more interesting.
Magan is attracted to the gypsies by their stylish mode of dressing. They wore pants shaped like bell-bottoms and disco shirts. They also had a fancy hairstyle in which they slipped back their hair (Cano, 1995). However, their wild nature and outgoing personality appeals to her even more. She also likes the stories they give about their culture. Likewise, she finds them to be flirty and that raises her self-esteem.
Somewhere Outside Duc Pho
Stories are important to David because they offer him a distraction from the memories of war. In his view, the flashbacks about the loss of his comrades and the brutal fighting that they were engaged in can become stressful. Consequently, for him to heal, he needs to talk about the experiences. Such conversations provide him with closure. More so, at such times, he gets to relive the moments and becomes grateful that at least he survived the ordeal.
Jesse Pena’s disappearance is significant because it shows how the war could have a toll on someone. In particular, it highlights the harsh conditions that the soldiers had to endure during the war effort (Cano, 1995). Of interest to David is the fact that whereas Jesse disappeared to escape the cruelty of a war zone, he did not. Thus, he would like to show Luz that he tolerated the inhumane conditions. However, he also wants to make it clear that he is vulnerable to his past.
Rubber man and the Gardner’s Sons
The “Rubber Man” chapter specifically illustrates the unforgiving nature of war. In it, the reader is exposed to different episodes in which innocent civilians are killed (Cano, 1995). It portrays the controversial yet practical occurrence of collateral damage. Therefore, casualties are depicted as an integral part of battles. Unfortunately, most of the soldiers who commit the murders are not remorseful.
This chapter reveals that Wayne, David and Danny are fearless as well. They happen to do things courageously. They also rely on one another for both physical and emotional support. Naturally, this can be attributed to their close contact whenever they are conducting patrols. Thus, they develop a bond that keeps them going through the tough times of the conflict.
Cano, Daniel. (1995). Shifting loyalties. Houston, TX: Arte Público Press.
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