Geraldo No Last Name

by Sandra Cisneros

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How does Cisneros's diction in "Geraldo No Last Name" affect the story's tone?

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The diction that Cisneros uses in "Geraldo No Last Name" is casual in order to make the story feel close to home.  For example, Cisneros uses colloquialisms to relate the reader to the experience:  "hit and run," "cumbias and salsas and rancheras," "ain't it a shame." Yet, although the reader may relate to the experience, the tone created by the words suggests that events like these are all too common in communities like Marin's and Geraldo's.  The air of sarcasm in the line, "Ain't it a shame" points to the notion that no one really does think it is a shame that Geraldo is dead.  Using another form of diction would move the story out of the realm of the community, and Cisneros is asking the reader to consider his/her position on events like the one happening in the story.

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