Although Eddie would like to accept Jesús's death and move on, he is pressured by Angel and his aunt to avenge his cousin's murder. Explain the two perspectives—Eddie's versus Angel's—on how Eddie should handle the situation. Why is it so difficult for Eddie to simply say no to them?

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Eddie and Angel have grown up in the same neighborhood and with the same people and situations. Although Angel has strayed from the moral path, he is still a major force in Eddie’s life. Therefore, when Angel pressures him to avenge his cousin’s murder, Eddie struggles. On the one hand, he feels sorry for his aunt and angry for his cousin; on the other hand, he does not want to place himself in the middle of a gang war.

Though he loved his cousin, Eddie tries not to think about Jesús, who was killed in a club. Self-preservation is important in his neighborhood, and Eddie knows that if he gets wrapped up thinking of his cousin’s murder, he will get into trouble. He wants to avoid trouble, and he just wants to make a living and keep to himself. In his mind, there is nothing that will bring his cousin back, and there is no sense in getting himself killed or incarcerated by seeking revenge. He tells Angel, “whoever iced mi primo…He’ll die soon enough.” Eddie knows that whoever killed Jesús is living a gang member’s life, and it is inevitable that he will someday meet his match—and then his maker. His solution is to wait until justice serves itself.

Angel, on the other hand, says he wants revenge now and that Eddie should be the one to help destroy the one who killed their friend. Reminding Eddie that Jesús respected him, Angel tries to convince Eddie to help him. Angel believes that revenge is necessary and says “let’s get the dude so Jesús and him can be equal.” He believes that blood brothers support and protect each other. Therefore, to Angel, there is shame in not avenging the murder of someone who they grew up with.

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From Eddie's perspective, Jesus is gone and no amount of violence is going to bring him back to life. He even says to Angel, of Jesus, "He's gone. You can't bring him back." Eddie does not want to take part in the violence that happens around him all the time in his community. He wants to avoid Angel completely, but this seems to be an impossibility if he, himself, wants to remain alive. Eddie has to tell himself to "Keep straight [...]. Don't mess up. Angel is a gangster" when he has been summoned by Angel to a meeting. He cannot simply say no and refuse to see Angel because Angel is unscrupulous and wields a lot of power in the community as a result of this. If Eddie rubs Angel the wrong way, so to speak, he runs the risk of getting himself killed.

Angel, on the other hand, wants revenge—what he seems to feel is justice even—for Jesus. He says to Eddie, "[...] let's get the dude so Jesus and him can be equal." He feels that a great wrong has been done to his blood brother, his carnal, and so he feels an obligation to punish the person who did that wrong. It seems cowardly and low, in his eyes, not to go after whoever killed Jesus and make them pay.

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