The Wedding fictionally re-creates a small-town barrio (neighborhood) near Los Angeles in the 1950’s and traces events surrounding the wedding of Blanca Muñoz and Sammy-the-Cricket Lopez. Ironically contrasting a young woman’s romantic dreams with her world’s reality, the novel portrays working-class Mexican Americans’ ability to live spirited lives on the fringes of society.
The Wedding’s two parts, told by an omniscient narrator, focus mainly on Blanca. The first part ranges from the characters’ childhood to just before the wedding. The second part narrates the traditional events of the barrio wedding day.
The novel begins when the eighteen-year-old Blanca and the twenty-two-year-old Cricket start dating. Both are junior-high-school dropouts with menial jobs; Blanca plucks turkeys, and Cricket collects garbage. Blanca, living at home, helps her mother with expenses. She and her girlfriends fantasize about romance and excitement— specifically, an ideal man with a steady job and a “cool” car. Unglamorous and inexperienced, Blanca lacks criteria for judging men. She finds Sammy-the-Cricket impressive because in fights he knocks his opponents senseless. Cricket is a pachuco, one of the 1950’s Mexican American youth who wore tailored, baggy “zoot suits” and often were involved in street gangs. Leader of Los Tacones, the neighborhood gang, Cricket had earned his nickname by stomping a member of the rival Planchados gang after beating him up.
On their first date, Blanca and Cricket see Gone with the Wind, a film Blanca has seen ten times, at the drive-in with their friends Tudi and Sally. Tudi, driving his own car, refuses Cricket’s urging to ram a car of Planchados who are peacefully leaving the drive-in. During the courtship, Cricket gets Blanca pregnant. Her condition apparently...
(The entire section is 765 words.)