Geraldo No Last Name

by Sandra Cisneros

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What is the deeper meaning behind Marin's feelings for Geraldo in "Geraldo No Last Name"?

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It is clear that Marin feels some sort of attachment to this young man that she "just" met in a dance and clearly found attractive. She seems to be bemused at the way that this death has impacted her and the way she acts as a response. Consider the following quote:

Only Marin can't explain why it mattered, the hours and hours, for somebody she didn't even know.

Marin is obviously moved by the fate of Geraldo and the way in which his death is treated by the hospital staff and the authorities. She can't help but think of what could have happened if the surgeon had arrived in time, and if Geraldo could have been saved. She is moved by the plight of Geraldo, who is one of those economic migrants who "always look ashamed" and are unable to reach out and build human relationships out of fear of being deported. She is likewise moved by the thought of his family, who will not be able to be informed about their son's death because of the enforced secrecy it was necessary for him to preserve. In Geraldo, Marin sees the fate of so many migrants, like herself.

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