Mexican WhiteBoy

by Matt de la Peña

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Student Question

How does Matt de la Peña portray perseverance in Mexican WhiteBoy?

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Perseverance is an important theme in Mexican Whiteboy as it pertains to Danny’s maturing and development. Danny learns that perseverance has value not only in individual terms but also as an element of social interaction and community building. One area where he personally applies perseverance is in improving his skill at sports. At the same time, he sticks with the challenge of trying to fit in with the team and listening to the coach. He learns many valuable lessons the hard way, as his innate talent in baseball proves insufficient for winning and his early interactions with other team members often degenerate into physical fights.

Through a combination of practice and heeding Coach Sullivan’s advice, Danny improves not only his baseball skills but also his mental strength. Another element of his development is his later reflections on his growth, as expressed in writing to his father. One relevant quote from these writings shows this combined reflexivity and development.

I wanted to tell you, Dad,… how much I’ve changed since that day. How much better I am. How much stronger and darker and more Mexican I am.

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