The narrator’s father’s feelings about life in America become known when Miss Marti announces that it is time for the Pledge of Allegiance. Our narrator recalls his father’s voice, saying that the US is guilty of abusing Latino nations, and referring to “what the CIA had done” in Chile. According to his father, the US praises democracy while simultaneously aiding and abetting fascists.
The boy had tried to defend the Americans to his father, reminding him that “we” put a stop to Hitler’s actions. His father responded to this with cynicism, asking his son if he even knew what imperialism was. He encourages his son to read about “men who died fighting imperialism,” such as Juan Bosch and Salvador Allende. His opinion of his son, who he berates constantly, doesn’t appear to be much higher than his opinion of America, and he fails to be impressed after his son reads a book about Albizu Campos in “two sittings” before telling his father that “some of it seems true.”
After all this ranting, however, it turns out that the narrator’s father’s feelings were perhaps not as strong as he has been making them out to be. When his son gets into trouble at school for refusing to salute the American flag, he appears to be embarrassed by his son’s actions, telling the assistant principal that he is shocked that his son has proved capable of such a thing. After this experience, the boy learns that the only person he can truly trust is himself.