In Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, how does the whirligig affect Flaco?

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The Florida whirligig takes the shape of a marching band. Flaco is instantly struck by the message it seems to convey. For a long time, he's been profoundly dissatisfied with his life. He toils away at a menial, low-paid job before returning home each day to a noisy, over-crowded house which he's forced to share with his cousin and his in-laws.

Not surprisingly, then, Flaco wants to escape from his current life. He dreams of being like a shearwater, a bird that can live alone and fly far away from the land. Yet when Flaco discovers that shearwaters actually live together in groups, he realizes that he too must find a way to live with others. Flaco's whole outlook on life has now changed for the better. And his positive new attitude has been brought about by seeing the figures of the marching band all working together for a common purpose.

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Flaco appears in the chapter titled “Miami, Florida.” We don’t know his real name. People call him Flaco, which means “skinny” in Spanish. He supports his wife Constancia and his son Raul; and his in-laws and a cousin also live in the same house. Flaco’s cousin wrecks his car. Then Flaco loses his restaurant job. His wife starts taking care of neighborhood children in order to bring in some money. Flaco feels frustrated and very stressed out, so he goes for a drive to clear his head. Across the peninsula from Miami, in Tampa, Flaco comes upon the restaurant with Brent’s marching band whirligig. He thinks about how people can sometimes get along and can make decent music when they are in compatible groups. He goes back home and eventually gets a job as a street sweeper. His life improves as a result.

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