Judith Ortiz Cofer

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Luis Cintron can be viewed as a dynamic character in the story “Catch the Moon”. What instigates change in his character and what is the significance of the change?

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The appearance of Naomi Ramirez initiates Luis Cintron's change; this change is significant because it is an alteration in attitude on the part of Luis. Since he wishes to win her over, he drives to the junkyard at night and searches through the hubcaps until he finds the one that will fit her wheel on her VW. After his efforts, Luis no longer views his work with his father as drudgery; instead, he now wants to make improvements at his father's and his place of business.

When Luis is released into the custody of his father after six months in juvenile hall, he is happy to be out, but disgruntled that he must work so hard for his father and receive no pay. Then, too, he misses the members of his gang and the excitement that they shared together. "Man, had they had a good time. The girls were interested, too." Now, he feels the drudgery of his work and has no enjoyment; sadly, too, he does not get along very well with his father.

So, when "the most beautiful girl [he] had ever seen" steps out of a vintage white Volkswagen Bug at the junkyard one day, Luis feels dizzy. Later, after he and his father return home, Luis asks to borrow the car, and his father gives him the keys. At first he considers returning to the old neighborhood and the members of his gang, but somehow he finds himself parked before the Ramirez Funeral Home where he sees the tree he climbed to escape his grief after his mother's funeral. Then, he notices Naomi drawing inside the glass door. Luis gets out of the car and goes to the door, mouthing the words that ask if he can enter; however, Naomi tells him that she cannot let him in as her mother is not home. So, Luis hurries back to the junkyard to find that hubcap she needs. When he does find it, he polishes it and returns to her house with this "Cinderella's shoe" for her.  Again, he climbs the tree and it has leaves; furthermore, this time he is happy as he climbs.

Naomi ran to the window and drew the curtains aside while Luis held on to the thick branch and waited to give her the first good thing he had given anyone in a long time.

Now, Luis is changed and looks forward to working with his father.

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