When I Was Puerto Rican Character Analysis

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When I Was Puerto Rican is a memoir detailing the author Esmeralda Santiago’s life, which began in her native home of Puerto Rico. Macun, a rural barrio is where she spends the beginning of her childhood, exploring and living off the land. As the novel progresses she constantly moves from place to place in Puerto Rico because of her parents rocky relationship. Towards the end of the novel as she’s getting older her mother decides that it is time to make the border crossing and move to New York City in search of a new and better life for her family. Throughout the novel When I Was Puerto Rican, coming of age is a resounding factor and her budding maturity helps her to overcome the struggles that she and her family go through in Puerto Rico as well as during the border crossing and the life that follows. “I push my cart away, towards the apples and pears of my adulthood, their nearly seedless ripeness predictable and bittersweet” (p. 4), the novel begins with Esmeralda as an adult inspecting a guava at a store in New York, bringing back memories of her childhood. While reminiscing on her childhood she also refers to the predictability and boringness that comes with growing into adulthood. The story of her childhood begins in a shack made of tin where her father Pablo, mother Ramona, her two younger sisters and she live. They live in the barrio of Macun, where she enjoys the freedom and simplicity of life in the countryside, she also takes advantage of the availability of
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