Richard holds himself and his future to a higher realm of possibility than the other white adults in his life. A white recruiter at a boxing ring gives Richard one of his earliest exposures to an outsider attempting to tell him what he can and cannot do based on his skin color . While boxing with Thomas, Richard is told that he could find a future in boxing, and, as the recruiter implies, such a job would be just about as good as Richard, a Mexican, could hope to receive. Richard rejects this man’s attempt to limit Richard’s potential success, and turns the training offer down.
As Richard grows older, cops, teachers, and friends continually underestimate his ability to succeed. When Richard is arrested with his friends, the cop immediately lump them into the same category as the zootsuiters who they all suspected of ra...
... middle of paper ...
...ack of individuality. From their haircuts, the way they march, and the way their sheets are creased, everything must be homogenous. Richard joins an organization dedicated to removing differences in an attempt to maintain his individuality. Richard’s ability to break free from his household is a display of neither of his heritages but rather him finally taking a stand for his individuality and rising above the pressures that Americans and Mexicans had placed upon him.
Richard’s departure from his hometown and old life is the beginning of his journey to fully become his own person. The prior year had less to do with self exploration and were more dedicated to his combat to cast off the shackles that society imposed upon him due to his skin color and upbringing. Now that he is essentially alone in the world, Richard can remake himself into the person he wants to be.
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