The Book Of Unknown Americans By Cristina Henriquez

Great Essays
Kristine Hariprasad
October 27, 2017
Professor Shikaki
ENG 1100C

Argumentative Essay

The Book of Unknown Americans was written by Cristina Henriquez and has become a contemporary American best seller. Though fiction, this novel speaks about the real life struggles Latino immigrants have to endure coming into a new country. Arturo and Alma Rivera migrated from their homeland, Mexico, to provide a better life for their special needs daughter, Maribel Rivera. They quickly encountered the Toro’s, Rafael, Celia and Mayor, who reside in the same building as them. Immigration plays a vast role in this novel for both families since they all experience immense amounts of discrimination, hardships and strain when trying to adapt and live in their
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When driving home, his wife Celia could not help but notice how unusually slow he was going. She tries to persuade him to keep up with the traffic since he is going under the speed limit on the highway and it is embarrassing everyone is passing them (Henriquez 164). Rafael then explains to her “If you’re black or if you're brown, they automatically think you've done something wrong…everybody else just has to obey the law. We have to obey it twice as well.” This additionally shows police discriminating against Latinos because of the extra caution they must take in order to avoid conflict. Rafael has heard from others experiences of being racially profiled by the police so he is taking extra precaution and abiding by the law “twice as much” to steer clear of any quarrel with the …show more content…
Arturo went to countless interviews in order to keep his status in the United States. He was often turned away and laughed at. “Haven’t you heard that the economy’s in the shitter? We can’t get rid of workers fast enough. Crawl back across the river, amigo.” This obstacle of not knowing English brings even more trouble to Arturo when he is notified his daughter Maribel is missing. After finally discovering the old news of Maribel running into problems with Garrett, Arturo left the house to find his daughter, assuming Garrett had something to do with her disappearance. “I’m going to find that boy and then I’m going to make him tell me where the hell our daughter is.” Arturo then headed to Capitol Oaks where he met Leon Miller, Garrett’s father. It is envisioned due to Arturo’s shortfall in English, and him frantically looking for his daughter and possibly demanding answers from Garrett, Leon got upset and shot Arturo. Arturo is quickly transported to the hospital where he undergoes surgery in order to save his life, but unfortunately, Arturo did not survive and passed away (Henriquez 265). As a result of Arturo not being able to communicate with Leon, Arturo ended up dead and Alma and Maribel soon move back to Mexico and left their old lives in America

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