ALWAYS RUNNING book analysis

Answer this question from the book ALWAYS RUNNING

  1. “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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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”?

Chapter 2

  1. “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?

  1. How is the cholo (the Mexican-American gang member) a product of his socio-economic conditions?

How do these lead to his creation?

  1. 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


Chapter 3

  1. 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.

Sample Solution

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