In what way does the setting contribute to the depiction of the relationship between Faustina and Sinesio in Jose Burciaga's "La Puerta"?

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noahvox2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jose Burciaga's short story "La Puerta" takes place in a poverty-stricken Hispanic neighborhood that the author describes as a "ramshackle colonia." Burciaga also observes that the houses in this colonia have "tin, wooden and cardboard roofs." Furthermore, the house that Faustina and Sinesio live in is a "two-room shack" that has a broken window through which rainwater leaks.

Obviously, the unpleasant conditions in which Faustina and Sinesio (and their three children) live do not lead the audience to believe that they are a "happy" couple. Sinesio's job at the mattress factory does not even pay him enough money to afford one of the mattresses he makes, as Faustina points out. Thus, Sinesio is going to have to leave his family behind and travel to the United States to find a better job.

Faustina and Sinesio have a terribly difficult life. They are a family of five living in a "two-room shack." They have very little money. It is no surprise that the couple are frequently angry with one another. Burciaga's remark that "Sinesio’s silent arrival always angered Faustina" is balanced later by Sinesio, who lashes "out at Faustina in anger" as he tries to scrape the lottery ticket off the window. Thus, the gloomy conditions in which the couple live do not lead the audience to expect that they will live "happily ever after."