In the story, “The Somebody,” by Danny Santiago, we meet the young character who goes by the name of Chato. Throughout the story, the author uses characterization to help us see that Chato is both passionate about what he does, yet he is also still a rugged gang member.
In “The Somebody,” Danny Santiago uses elements of characterization to create Chato de Shamrock, a teen growing up in East L. A. Chato is portrayed as dramatic and lonely. We believe that he behaves this way because of the setting he’s in and his rebellious nature.
In the short story “The Somebody,” the author, Danny Santiago, tells the story of a boy named Chato who has a troubled family and gets into trouble himself. He is a complex character who we feel for because of his situation.
Another characteristic that Santiago presents in Chato is loneliness. We see this first in Chato’s explanation of the second half of his name, “de Shamrock.” He states, “That’s the street where I live, and it’s the name of the gang I belong to, but the others are all gone now.” Later on, we see the extent to which the absence of his gang has affected Chato when he says, “In the old days they wouldn’t dare come on our street, but without your gang you’re nobody.” Ever since the rest of his gang left town, Chato considers himself a nobody; he is all alone in the world.
This is further shown in the story as Chato explains his unpleasant interactions with his dad. The two of them have an argument where his dad indicates Chato is a kind of nobody in the house. To conclude the intense scene, Chato tells the readers: “I could be dead and he wouldn’t take me serious.” From this scene, it’s not difficult to see that Chato feels like he has no one there for him. His loneliness forces him to depend only on himself. From this passage, we, as readers, can understand why Chato decided to quit school; he wants a fresh start.
It is clear that the author wants us to see that Chato is seeking attention, which shows that he is either lonely or insecure. This is shown when Chato is talking to his dad and yells, “I’m quitting this dump! You’ll never see me again!” He then clarifies, “I hollered it at him, but already he was in the kitchen making a big noise in his coffee. I could be dead and he wouldn’t take me serious.” This indicates that Chato wants attention from his dad, by yelling things that would normally upset a parent. The dad reacts in a way that does not show sympathy for Chato’s feelings, which makes him feel less worthy. Another place in the passage where Chato seeks attention is when he is walking down Main Street like a ghost in a graveyard writing his name everywhere. He says, “I wrote my name on the parking-lot fence on the corner.
A lot of names you see in public places are written very sloppy. Not me. I take my time.” This shows that he wanted to be seen and known by people. He wrote his name clearly to be read by whoever saw it. He commented on the people who had bad handwriting and on his 5th grade teachers who made him feel good about himself and his writing. Finally, Chato show attention-seeking behavior when he gets frustrated by his family situation. He says, “I had to wait for my breakfast because the baby was sick and throwing up milk on everything. There is always a baby vomiting in my house.” Chato feels that he doesn’t get enough attention in his family, and his mom cares only for the babies. Even though he is in high school, he still wants someone to take care of him and give him some attention, like in this case having made breakfast for him.