ALWAYS RUNNING book analysis
Answer this question from the book ALWAYS RUNNING
- “Cry child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends.” What does this Mexican proverb
mean? How might it relate to the book based on what you’ve read so far? Consider the way in which tears
and crying serve as a recurring motif throughout the chapter (i.e. the fact that Rano never cries and the
legend of la Llorona).
- Based on Luis’ own family, what can you determine about the dynamics of the traditional Mexican family
unit and the roles assigned to its individual members? Consider gender roles, for instance and how these
play into the lives of the individual family members.
- How might the Rodriguez family’s experience in the United States serve as an indictment of the
American Dream and popular notions of a great ethnic “melting pot”?
- “Thee Impersonations,” the club or “clica” Rodriguez creates with other boys is “how (they) wove
something out of the threads of nothing.” Rodriguez also goes on to say it “was born of necessity.” What
does he mean by this? How is the entire episode representative of the way certain youth join gangs? What
motivates or drives them to do so?
- How is the cholo (the Mexican-American gang member) a product of his socio-economic conditions?
How do these lead to his creation?
- On page 49, Rano begins to find success in school. He soon “stop(s) being Rano or even Jose” and “one
day be(comes) Joe.” What is the significance behind this evolution? What does the name change imply?
What assumptions can we make about Rano’s changing attitudes, particularly in regards to his cultural
- How might the greater American society be viewed as responsible for the creation of its gangs? Are
people products of their circumstances and environment or are they entirely responsible for their fate? Is
there such a thing as free will or are we merely reacting to our circumstances and environment? When
answering, use passages from the book to cite as evidence. Answer in at least one paragraph.