Mexican Whiteboy: Important quotes with page – 3407 words

Mexican Whiteboy: Important quotes with page

1. “Danny nods with a shy smile, aims his eyes at the asphalt. He feels the heat of [the girls’] stares and for a second he wishes he could morph into one of the ants zigzagging in and out of tiny crevices in the street. Their little lives, he thinks, totally off the radar. ” (Chapter 1, Page 2)

Danny has just arrived in National City and Sofia introduces him to her “girls. ” They are precocious and forward and they stare at Danny in a way that makes him feel uncomfortable. The reader learns that Danny leads a much more sheltered life in a different part of town. He thinks how he looks broadcasts as much and he becomes very self-conscious. He wants to become invisible, unnoticeable like an ant.

2. “Danny’s brown. Half-Mexican brown. A shade darker than all the white kids at his private high school, Leucadia Prep. Up there, Mexican people do the under-the-table yard work and hide out in the hills because they’re in San Diego illegally. Only other people who share his shade are the lunch-line ladies, the gardeners, the custodians. But whenever Danny comes down here, to National City—where his dad grew up, where all his aunts and uncles and cousins still live—he feels pale. A full shade lighter. Albino almost. Less than. ” (Chapter 1, Page 2)

Danny attributes the color of his skin, which is too light in one community and too dark in the other, to his feelings of worthlessness. He believes he is invisible in Leucadia andis disregarded; while in National City, however, he sees himself as too light, making him inferior. In Leucadia, he sees Mexican immigrants in service jobs, working for cash. He judges them by the work they do and how he believes others look at them. Heequates himself to them on the basis of skin color and nothing more. Danny is young and does not yet understand the dignity work gives people, particularly when it allows them to take care of their families.

The workers about which he speaks have most likely risked a great deal to be there for those jobs, regardless of how he perceives others see them. They are not in Leucadia by accident; they are there for opportunity, as is Danny, only he doesn’t realize it.

3. “Behind his back he grips his left wrist, digs his fingernails into the skin until a sharp pain floods his mind, makes him feel real. ” (Chapter 1, Page 3) As soon as Danny feels discomfort of any sort, he digs his fingernails into his skin, eliciting pain.

The same way someone who craves attention will invite negative attention rather than be ignored, Danny, who has become so void of feeling due to shielding himself from the pain of his father, cuts himself until he conceives of the painful sensationthat lets him he is alive.

4. “Angela and Bee comb Danny over with their almond-shaped eyes, devour his out-of-place surfer style like a pack of rabid dogs. Danny cringes at how different he must seem to his cousin’s friends. They’re all dark chocolate-colored, hair sprayed up, dressed in pro-jerseys and Dickies, Timberlands.

Gold and silver chains. Calligraphy-style tats. Danny’s skin is too clean, too light, his clothes too soft. ” (Chapter 1, Page 3) Danny’s anomalous presence goes beyond the color of his skin. He wears the uniform of his peers, kids his age who live in Leucadia or other parts of North County. On a daily basis, Danny is surrounded by classmates who, in school,wear uniforms, and outside, dress in clothes inspired by the coastal surf culture. His clothes are a consistent issue for him. They help depict a stark contrast between Danny and the other characters as well as deepen his insecurities.

5. “Not only is Uno the only black kid in the neighborhood—or negrito, as the old Mexicans call him (even though his moms is Mexican, too)—he’s also stronger, quicker, taller, a better fighter. ” (Chapter 1, Page 3) Uno is as much Mexican as Danny: half. His father, Senior, is black, so Uno is visibly different from his peers. Because he has grown up in National City, though, he speaks Spanish and is fully integrated into the Mexican community. He frequently exhibits bravado,which might be construed as compensation for insecure feelings, but he is the alpha and is likely remind the others who is socially at the top.

Uno does notappear insecure about his darker skin even when it is noted disparagingly both by his stepfather and by one of the Leucadia players. By contrast, Danny, who is only slightly lighter thanhis Mexican family, is insecure and sees himself as “less than. ”

6. “Manuel may be a little slow in the head—that’s how the white social worker explained it to Uno the first time he visited his stepbro at Bright House—but Uno couldn’t care less about that mess. Manny’s his people for life. It doesn’t mean nothing to him that they aren’t even blood. That’s why he breaks into a little chicken dance around home plate.

Manny goes crazy for his chicken dance. ” (Chapter 2, Page 11) Uno has just been introduced as the alpha-male in this neighborhood. He is somewhat arrogant, but he is also bigger, stronger and more athletic than the others. At this point, Uno is developing into Danny’s antagonist, so there is some negativity and apprehension about his character. His feelings about his developmentally-disabled stepbrother, Manny, however, reveal there is more to Uno. He is capable of compassion and willing to do anything for Manny, including making a fool of himself in front of his peers.

In all ways, Uno appears strong and tough, but the tenderness he shows towards Manny adds a level of complexity to his character.

7. “Only thing that gets Uno to stop dancing is when he spots Sofia watching, some light-skinned kid standing by her side. What’s up with this pretty boy? He says in his head. Sofe gots a man now? For some reason this stops Uno’s dancing mid-step. It irritates him, though he couldn’t tell you why. ” (Chapter 2, Page 11) Sofia has just entered the cul-de-sac with Danny. Uno notices how different Danny is and sees his appearance as a threat.

The irritation caused by seeing Sofia with a “pretty boy” implies there are or have been romantic feelings between Uno and Sofia.

8. “Back in Leucadia, he made a pact with himself. No more words. Or as few as he could possibly get away with. When his dad spoke at all, he mostly spoke Spanish, but Danny never learned. All he had was his mom’s English. ” (Chapter 2, Page 17) Danny eschews speaking, choosing only to talk when necessary. Furthermore, he only knows English, his mother’s language, and he wants to disassociate himself from her. It is her whiteness that makes Danny only “half” Mexican, which he resents.

In his mind, his half-whiteness is what caused his father to leave, so he blames his mother. He also blames her for the fact he speaks only English, yet his father spoke Spanish. Javier didn’t teach Danny Spanish, nor did he speak much at all to Danny. It’s unclear if he didn’t talk because he was, as Danny remembers, frequently under the influence of drugs, or if he just had nothing to say.

9. “Danny takes a practice swing, prepares himself for the next wild pitch. He can see in Uno’s eyes, the guy’s not gonna let it go down like this. ” (Chapter 2, Page 22) Danny is playing stickball for the first time and surprises everyone with his skill.

After hitting his third homerun it looks as though he’ll surpass Uno, the neighborhood’s current top player, and walk away with the cash prize Uno had intended for himself. Uno is already irritated by Danny’s presence and now he feels threatened by his abilities as well. Uno’s reaction is to throw wild pitches at Danny’s face. When Danny attempts to hit the last pitch,he connects awkwardly with the ball, sending the bat flying, which hitsManny in the face. This gives Uno the justification he’d been looking for to come after Danny. Uno beats up Danny, knocking him to the ground and sending him to the hospital.

10. “But I have something I wanna tell you, Dad. I know why you said that to me now. About how things were gonna change. You were telling me you were going to Mexico. You were sick of living in a city with so many white people, with a white wife, with two kids who were half white. You wanted to be around more Mexicans. Your real family. But what I wanted to tell you, Dad, is how much I’ve changed since that day. How much better I am. How much stronger and darker and more Mexican I am. ” (Chapter 3, Page 28) After Uno beats Danny, he lies semi-conscious on the asphalt and, in his mind, composes the first of many letters to his father.

This one explains Danny’s beliefs about why his father left. In all of his letters, Danny tells his father everything he imagines his father would want to hear: things that are wildly untrue and things that Danny thinks will make his father accept him and want to return to him.

11. “I just stood there with you. Both of us watching that hawk. And when it finally dove behind the pack of trees and was lost, you lowered your head and continued walking. And I followed you. ” (Chapter 3, Page 28) This is the introduction of the hawk, which is a symbol of Danny’s father and his relationship with him. When the hawk leaves, Danny’s father leaves. Danny cannot leave, but in his heart, he follows his father.

12. “Cause the very things Grandma gushes over are what shame him most. Such a good little boy. Such a pretty boy. Look at him doing all his homework before bed, studying for that big English midterm, taking out the trash without even being asked. Look at him writing letter after letter to his dad, even though his dad never even said goodbye to his bitch ass. If it came down to a choice, it wouldn’t be a choice […] To be a real Lopez, though—that’s what he’d pick. A chip off the old block. One of the cousins from el barrio. ” (Chapter 5, Page 47)

Danny considers every obvious advantage a disadvantage. He only wants to be a “real Lopez” and to be like his father and uncles would require him to not be well-educated. His family appreciates and respects his intelligence, but because they don’t have the same level of education Danny does, he sees his academic abilities as further dividing him from his family, particularly the men in his family.

13. “And what’s interesting is the way they all genuinely want him to succeed, to rise above the family history. Be the first Lopez to go to college. Come back one Mother’s Day as a doctor or a lawyer or a dentist. ” (Chapter 5, Page 48)

Danny thinks he is inferior to his Mexican family because he does not live in their neighborhood or speak Spanish. From their perspective, he could not be more wrong. They genuinely love him; they believe in him, support him and take pride in his accomplishments. In some ways, his victories will be their victories. They want him to go forward with his education and to become something none of them are. He views their shows of support as patronizing and feels his intellect drives him further away from his family.

14. “You did right, D-man. Couple stitches ain’t so bad if you got everybody’s respect now. ” (Chapter 7, Page 62) Uncle Ray has just threatened to beat up Uno as retribution for what he did to Danny; all Danny has to do is acknowledge that Uno is who hurt him. Even though Danny has no reason to protect Uno, he does not tell his Uncle Ray what happened. Ray knows what happened, and though he is charged with protecting Danny, he is proud of his nephew for wanting to handle his “stuff” on his own.

15. “He learns that jungle juice makes him feel light as a feather. That it makes him feel ten feet tall. But still slick on his feet. Makes him feel like smiling and talking to anybody and everybody, at any time—though he hasn’t. ” (Chapter 7, Page 71) Danny has not had a sip of alcohol prior to now. Sofia and her friends drink regularly, and she has given him some of her “jungle juice,” presumably a mix of juice and hard liquor. She is careful not to let him have too much, but Danny does become intoxicated and experiences what feel like the positive effects of alcohol. He is uninhibited and happy in the moment.

16. “‘I don’t want to scare you, Danny, but I maybe love you. Is that okay? ’ I said, ‘Yeah, Lib, it’s cooI […] didn’t say it back ‘cause I remember you telling me one time it’s best to take it slow with girls.

Or else you’ll wake up when you’re seventeen and find yourself married with a kid. Like what happened to you and Uncle Tommy. ” (Chapter 7, Page 71) In one of his internal letters to his father, Danny tells his father about the serious nature of his relationship with Liberty, who, in reality, Danny is dying to speak to but can’t muster the courage. He is fascinated by her but does not have the confidence to approach her. He also does not speak Spanish, her only language. The reader also learns Danny is the product of a teenage pregnancy.

17. “But Danny only wanted to watch what his dad wanted to watch. So, when he picked up the remote and started flipping, he concentrated on his dad’s face. He moved from one channel to the next looking not for the best show but for the best expression on his dad’s face. ” (Chapter 13, Page 120) As a little boy, Danny wanted his father’s approval. He wanted to learn to be like him. He also did not want to upset him, implying Danny was no stranger to Javier’s violent temper. Danny didn’t care what was on the television; he so admired his dad that rather than watch the television himself, he preferred to watch his dad watch the television.

18. “Uno thinks about how strange his boy is, going everywhere solo. Barely ever talking. Mexican as anybody else in the ‘hood but dressed like some kind of skater dude. Doesn’t seem to make much sense. ” (Chapter 17, Page 140) Uno confirms what the reader knows. Danny is overreacting to his lighter skin. Uno sees him “as Mexican as anybody else” only that is not how Danny sees himself. Uno is curious as to why someone who is Mexican would dress like he does, showing appearance to be critical to how these characters assess and define one another.

19. “[Danny] reaches his arms around his back, like he does. But this time Uno snatches Danny’s left arm, looks at all the old scars, the deep bruises.

He looks up at Danny, confused. He doesn’t get it. Kids seems like he’s got so much going for him. What’s wrong? ”(Chapter 17, Page 144) Uno has just asked Danny about his father and why he’s in Mexico. Danny reveals he has no idea and reflexively digs his fingernails into his skin. Uno has seen this behavior before but has never said anything. This time, he isn’t holding back. Uno cannot reconcile why someone with so much talent would want to hurt himself, reinforcing how his and the others’ perceptions of Danny differ so drastically from Danny’s perception of himself.

20. “I’d have beat that kid within an inch of his life. But that’s the point, see. I wasn’t thinkin’ back then. I was just doin’. And where was I learnin’ what to do? On the street. From the thugs comin’ up in front of me in the southeast San Diego. Now I slow down, make decisions based on well-thought-out justifications. ” (Chapter 19, Page 159) At a post-hustle lunch, Senior tells Uno and Danny the story about how a teenage boy broke into his home in Oxnard. The fact he talked to and taught the boy illustrates the drastic change in Senior from the father Uno had known as a young boy.

Senior has radicallytransformed his life and while he has some controversial views, he has become a man of integrity and is attempting to be a father to his son.

21. “A word he learned in school comes to mind: irony. This is what his teacher meant when she’d talk about that word. Liberty’s come to National City to be more American. And he’s come to National City to be more Mexican. ” (Chapter 21, Page 187) While playing truth or dare, Danny and Liberty are forced to leave the apartment together, alone. This moment is one they both want, but they cannot communicate; neither speaks the other’s language.

Danny identifies this moment as ironic. There is not anther major character, except for possibly Senior, whocan identify irony when it is present. Danny for the first time, without thinking, utilizes his education without being critical of himself for having it.

22. “Then it all pours out of his mouth. ‘I’m so happy right now. Being here with you. In National City. I came here because sometimes I feel like a fake Mexican. And I don’t want to be a fake. I wanna be real. I love my dad’s family. And I love the culture and the language and everything my gramma cooks and the way they live.

I’ve always wished I was more like them. But it’s twice as bad since my dad left…I wish I could tell you how pretty I think you are in Spanish. But I can’t. because I never learned. ” (Chapter 21, Page 188) This is a moment of catharsis for Danny. He is so happy to be sitting next to Liberty, and he can say whatever he wants because she can’t understand him. He tells her precisely how he feels and does not hold back. He has no fear of judgement of rejection.

23. “I was there to watch you. ” (Chapter 27, Page 218) Danny is at Petco Park and spots the scout. He learns the man is not a scout but a vendor at the ballparkand had been in prison with his father. Danny’s father had saved this man’s life in a fight and they’d become friends. Javier had enlisted this man to watch over Danny in his absence. When Danny sees this man in Leucadia, he believes he is just another baseball scout there to watch Kyle Sorenson.

In actuality,he had been there to watch Danny. Incarceration is not what Danny had hoped to learn, but he is faced with something of far greater importance: his father had been there for him in the only way he could. He was at the Leucadia field via his surrogate andfollows Danny around the city watching over him and keeping him safe.

24. “He always brags on you, you know. Goes on and on about what a great kid you are. A great player, too, he tells everybody. ” (Chapter 27, Page 219) This is the validation Danny has been seeking. His dad thinks he is great.

25. “All the guys on the fence fall silent for Danny as Kyle steps back into the batter’s box. As Coach Sullivan gets up and moves halfway down the bleachers, his assistants following closely behind […]Danny tunes everything else out.

Even his dad. It’s not about him anymore. It’s about something bigger. His talent. ” (Chapter 28, Page 233) Despite Danny’s perception of how the Leucadia kids felt about or saw him, their silence shows their respect for him. He also has the attention of the coach, which he’d wanted badly prior to this day. There is ostensibly a lot of pressure, but Danny has learned to tame his mind, and he is at peace with the situation with his father. All he needed to know was that his dad cares. Now it can be about Danny and his talent, and he lets it be.

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