"Ciudad Juarez" by Elizabeth Tallent

Essay by VicenteCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 2006

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Elizabeth Tallent's short story "Ciudad Juarez" is like a narrative of a trip a young couple takes to Ciudad Juarez. It is not stated in the story why the couple goes to Ciudad Juarez; however it is assumed that they go to Ciudad Juarez just to spend some time with their ten month old son Wills, who is traveling with them. The family travels from Santa Fe, NM in a Subaru car. In the story the mother's name is Nina. She is depicted as a nice young mother that is caring of her child. She makes sure he is well ventilated when they are traveling south on the sizzling desert road. The father, Tom, is a typical male figure who makes decisions on the road and presumably knows where he is headed. He does not need directions when traveling and is depicted as the role figure in the story.

Most of the story takes place in Ciudad Juarez when the family is trying to get to the mercado, or the flea market. Tom gets lost because he makes a couple of wrong turns and Nina is forced to ask a young boy riding a bike, for directions. The young boy leads them back to the main street only to find them selves in a traffic jam. Tom feels frustrated and runs over a box of boots owned by a doctor driving a Mercedes. Tom thinks he ran over the boy leading them to the mercado, but luckily it was only a pair of boots. When Tom and Nina get back in the car they discuss what just happened and how Tom felt about the young boy. Tom thought he had killed the boy, which was the first thing in his mind. Nina, on the other...