La Puerta

by Jose Antonio Burciaga

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In "La Puerta," what is the meaning of the title?

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The title of this short story is Spanish for "the door," and it refers to the importance of the door both as a symbol for escape and a better life and also the physical door that is the entrance to the home of Faustina and Sinesio. What is so tragic, and darkly humorous, is that the two are fused together, as the physical door is where Faustina glues the winning lottery ticket in order to stop the rain and wind getting into the house, and so their way out or their entrance into riches and escape from poverty is through their everyday exit. Note how, at the end of the story, Sinesio, because he is unable to take the ticket off from the door, is left detaching the door itself as he rushes into town in order to claim the prize in time:

But Faustina could not tell if it was from the rain or tears of anger, as he put the door over his head and ran down the streaming pathway to catch the autobus.

The door then becomes the centre of all of their hopes and dreams as Sinesio does everything he can to reach town, but it is also, to some extent, a futile race, as Sinesio is crying with "tears of anger" as he tries, in vain, to do everything he can to reach town in time. 

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