Character Analysis: Romero's Shirt

Romero’s Shirt

“Romero’s shirt,” is a story about a man –the protagonist, who takes pride in his work and the possessions he has acquired through his hard work. Romero is confined by his hard work and the need to provide for his family. While washing his car, Romero is approached by a man of distinct character, such as Romero before he came to El Paso. Thrown by the man’s personality, Romero lets his guard down and gives the man a small odd job. When the job is done Romero takes a nap and quickly realizes he left his favorite shirt outside. Unable to find his shirt, Romero automatically assumes that the old man has taken advantage of him by taking his food, money and his shirt. Gilb implies that a man who works hard will see the value
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He does not hold much interaction with his wife, children or others. While his wife and children are away, an old man approaches Romero with a request for yard work. Romero usually doesn’t entertain another man doing his yard work, but he considered the old man to be “unique and likeable” (395) and agreed to help him out. Romero quickly regrets helping the old man out when he realizes his shirt is missing. Although he did not see the old man take his shirt, he is convinced that the old man has his it. His good deed suddenly becomes “suspect” (396) as he thought about the old man taking his food, money and shirt. Although Romero feels great about helping out the old man, this is short lived and Romero’s character reverts back to his old self before his family is able to see what one good deed does for Romero. Although used to shutting people out, Romero finds it difficult to accept the events of the day. He finds it hard that he could feel so generous and enlightened and yet have something disappointing come out of the whole …show more content…
Giving the old man a job isn’t easy for Romero as he “had taught himself to not care, to not want, to not desire for so long that he’d lost many words, avoided many people, kept to himself, alone, almost always, even when his wife game him his meals”(396). So taking a liking to the old man is a new feeling for Romero. Romero makes a small meal for the old man because he is hungry. After talking for a bit, Romero ends the conversation knowing that it would “keep the work from getting done” (394). Romero likes to get his work done without interruptions and quickly. It only makes sense that Romero feels the need to hurry the man after eating, afraid that if they speak much longer he may not get to his work. After the work is done, Romero continues to speak with the old man about his ranch in Mexico. Romero feeling “virtuous” (395) decides that he has not let himself be susceptible to feeling compassion for others. The feeling of virtue is short lived after the old man is gone. Once Romero realizes that his favorite shirt is missing, he automatically assumes that the old man had something to do with it. Romero’s feelings of constant disappointment come flooding back to him. He can’t help but think that the old man took his favorite shirt. Romero tries to think of different scenarios to where he might have left the shirt but struggles as his thoughts lead back to the old man. Romero felt “like

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