What is the central idea of "Geraldo No Last Name" by Sandra Cisneros?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The central idea of "Geraldo No Last Name" has to do with the harsh anonymity of immigrants in this country.  In the vignette, the other character Marin is quite upset when Geraldo is killed, but she cannot understand why she is so upset because she did not really know Geraldo.  She only knows his first name, which is the first marker of Geraldo's anonymity.  She believes that he works in a restaurant, yet at the end of the vignette, the narrator suggests that Geraldo worked in a string of kitchenettes to make enough money to send home to his family.  The anonymity of the immigrant experience is highlighted at the end of the vignette when Geraldo's experience is linked to that of others--in the end, his family knows that he left for a better life, not knowing the hard fate that has befallen him.

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Geraldo No Last Name

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