Throughout the book “Breaking Through,” Francisco Jinemez discusses many themes. This book is an interesting and a must read book for people who moving to another country and trying to get a better life. There are three themes in the novel that one must follow in order to understand and earn a meaningful life: family, work, and education. First of all, family is the first school in which a child receives the basic values of life. When Francisco was young, his family moved to America, hoping to get a better life. He grew up in a poor family.
The six members in his family are his parents, (how many? 3? ) brothers, and sister. His family suffers and struggles with many hardships because they were not coherent English speakers. His mother is a caring and thoughtful woman who places her family as an important priority. She gives Francisco a lot of advice that helped him solve many of his problems. All the members of his family are friendly except his father. His father always yells at him and Roberto when they ask to go out. Although his mood changes invariably like the weather, they still respect him completely.
Francisco spends a lot of time with his big brother since their ages are close to each other. Francisco’s love for his family is never-ending. In one part of the book, Francisco and his brother, Roberto, moved away from their family to a different city to live by themselves. At the beginning, Francisco misses his family so much that he can’t help but reminisce about the time when they still lived together. Francisco often misses “the sounds of [his] Papa’s coughing, the rattle of his aspirin bottle, and the rolling of Mama’s twelve-inch lead pipe” (19).
Being away from his family occasionally makes Francisco think of all the little things about his life when he lived with his parents. Jimeneez illustrated an image of Francisco’s life before he moved to _____ in order to demonstrate how Francisco’s strong ties to his family causes him to think about when they were still living together. Everyone has to work whether to earn money or get experience for a better future. When Francisco was still in middle school, he supported his family by working. His work was to pick cotton, carrot, or strawberry, depending on the season.
Francisco’s father has trouble with his back, so he could not work as well as he did before. Things get worse when Roberto got married because he is unable to support the family anymore because he needs the money to build his own family. Francisco and his father become depressed as they worry for their life and survival. They often wonder how they will survive with the limited amount of money they receive from their work. Life is tough for them. Why do we have to go to school? It is the best option for our future. In general, achieving an education is not an easy thing to do.
It is even harder for Francisco who moved to another country. Although he has problem with English, he never stop trying to learn it. In addition to getting a good education, Francisco also has to help support his family. This caused him to miss many school days. In his senior year, he hears good news from his teacher that he might be able to get a scholarship. He discusses the news with his family, but his father did not approve. Francisco could not control himself and finally talk back to his father that why cannot he get into college.
Francisco felt ‘’anger [swallowing him] and [he] could not escape it” (168) Francisco felt passionate about his education because it is the only hope for Francisco to escape his poor life. He believes that he must fight for it because education is not only a ladder to success, but it will also give him knowledge to become a useful person in the future. In conclusion, Jimenez is trying to demonstrate survival and hardship through these themes. These are themes that would help us break through all the hardships in life. A better future depends on our hope and courage.