Geraldo No Last Name

by Sandra Cisneros

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How does the author's style impact the story in "Geraldo No Last Name"?

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In the short story "Geraldo No Last Name," the author's style contributes to the story's impact by reflecting the traumatized thoughts of the main character, Marin, as she struggles to come to grips with the death of a man she has just been dancing with. She did not get to know Geraldo very well, but his death in a hit-and-run accident has touched her profoundly.

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In the short story "Geraldo No Last Name" by Sandra Cisneros, the main character is a woman named Marin, who enjoys going to dances. At one of them she meets a man dressed in a "shiny shirt and green pants" named Geraldo. She dances with him but never gets to know him well enough to even learn his last name. She only finds out that he "worked in a restaurant." Upon leaving the dance, Geraldo is involved in a hit-and-run accident. He is taken to the emergency room, where he dies. Marin is questioned by hospital personnel and by police but, having just met Geraldo, is unable to tell them much.

The story is told from Marin's point of view. The style has great impact because it reflects her traumatized state of mind. Although she didn't really know him, Geraldo's death has affected her profoundly. She "can't explain why it mattered" that she was the last one to interact with Geraldo while he was alive, but it does matter. She attempts to imagine what his life must have been like. He was possibly an illegal immigrant. He probably worked hard, rented cheap, small rooms, and sent money home to help his family. The loved ones he left behind will always wonder why he went away and never came back.

The story is a brief but touching tragedy about a life that in some ways seemed insignificant but was really not. He mattered to some people, and for a brief time his life touched Marin's life, and he mattered to her. The style manifests the confused thoughts someone might have after a terrible tragic event such as a random car accident. It is an attempt to show how Marin is trying to make sense out of a person and an event that impacted her life briefly but profoundly.

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