Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and wondered what it meant? Sandra Cisneros, author of the short story, “Salvador Late or Early”, creates a frame of mind and brings fourth a sad and sympathetic feeling within the reader towards Salvador; who is a young boy with more weight on his shoulder than any average kid his size should have to bare. Cisneros uses imagery, diction, and characterizes Salvador as solitary, troubled, and as unnoticed child. Who takes on more responsibilities as a young boy than most would imagine at a glance, that any kid would have to endure.
Author Sandra Cisneros uses simplistic tone to create a sympathetic frame of mind within the reader by using an range of imagery to grab the readers attention. Cisneros describes Salvador’s responsibilities, the way he looks, and where Salvador lives leaving the reader tender in thought toward Salvador. “Inside that forty-pound body of boy with its geography of scars, its history of hurt, limbs stuffed with feathers and rags…”(Cisneros) illustrate a weak, flimsy young boy with no sense of hope or direction.
Cisneros then goes on to state, “In that vague direction where homes are the color of bad weather…,” painting a dark cloud over the home of Salvador inside the readers mind. Cisneros never gives the reader a specific age for Salvador but we can tell from the diction being used along with the specific details given to us by the author that Salvador is a young boy given an incredible amount of responsibility.
The reader can also assume that Salvador has a head of the house type role. Also the reader immediately picks up on how poor Salvador and his family are when Cisneros writes, “combs their hair with water, feeds them milk and cornflakes from a tin cup in the dim dark of the morning. ” This all being done by the young Salvador and by this passage the reader picks up on a depressing feeling that leaves the audience fascinated and worried at the problems this young boy is in.
Cisneros labels the main character with great detail that he has a past shrouded in problem and puzzlement which in turn, leaves the reader mind with the question of what could have happened to this boy that left him with such with such a burden to carry. “Salvador whose name the teacher cannot remember, is a boy who is no ones friend,…” (Cisneros) this statement describes Salvador as a loner and not very out spoken considering his own teacher cant remember his name.
In conclusion Sandra Cisneros creates a very graphic visualization of the characteristics that help the reader build an image and a diverse amount of feelings towards the character Salvador. Leaving the reader questioning the past of the young boy, which seems to eat away at his inner emotions and will continue to do so until there is nothing left but a empty shell of pain, and agony. Burdened at a young age with the role as the head of the household young, shy, Salvador is faced each day with obstacles not many his age must overcome.
Filled with a past full of secrecy, Salvador pushes forward each day braving this storm not only for himself, but for his younger siblings and a “Mama”, who seems to be on her own also. Described as “his limbs stuffed with feathers and rags,” (Cisneros) a valid argument can be made that Salvador holds more than just pain, and agony within. One can argue that any young boy who has to burden the trouble and responsibilities that Salvador carries on his shoulders each day represents, the brave and determined will to go on not for himself but for the other he loves and that quality in anyone no matter size, or age makes them an amazing person.