Bodega Dreams – Book II, Rounds 5-8 Summary & Analysis

Ernesto Quinonez

Bodega Dreams

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Bodega Dreams – Book II, Rounds 5-8 Summary & Analysis

Round 5 Summary: The War was in Full Bloom 

Blanca insists that they can’t keep Vera’s ring, but Chino sees opportunity there—if not the chance to give his wife a beautiful ring, then for the chance to pawn it for four or five months’ rent. As they argue, Blanca brings up the impending dinner with Pastor Vasquez and Claudia, and Chino snaps, telling her the Bible is “the most sexist book ever written” (130) and that the women in her church are treated as if their sole purpose is to glorify men. He insists that Blanca, who will be the first person in her family to graduate from college, doesn’t need to be held back by these beliefs. At the end of their argument, Blanca reports that Negra is in the hospital, having been beaten by Victor. She passes on a message from Negra, that Chino should contact Bodega. Chino recognizes that Negra is trying to collect the debt that he owes her and he feels sick to learn that Blanca knows something about his involvement with Bodega. He realizes that if she found out the whole truth about his involvement with Bodega, she would leave him. From this point on, he says, their relationship becomes strained and polite, as if they were strangers.

After class that night, Chino decides to visit Blanca at her church, to get back on her good side. It’s the night of the special service with the seventeen-year-old “anointed,” Roberto Vega, preaching. Roberto is preaching an allegory about the relationship between Israel (a slave girl) and God (the king who purchased her). His words are increasingly powerful, and the congregation reacts with loud outbursts of “Alleluia!” and dancing. Blanca and Claudia hang on Roberto’s every word, but Chino recalls, “I felt strange and wished I could believe like they did. But I couldn’t” (138). When Roberto says that Christ was crucified for them, he agrees, thinking, “The slums were full of his followers… His spirit was all over El Barrio, but I didn’t see Him living among us. You wouldn’t catch Christ, in the flesh, living…

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