Always Running

by

Luis J. Rodriguez

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María is Luis Rodriguez’s fiery, intimidating mother. The descendant of Native Americans, María marries Alfonso Rodriguez while she’s still very young, and then moves to Los Angeles along with him. As Luis notes several times, she’s willing to sacrifice her own dreams and ambitions for the sake of her husband. Although she and Alfonso have marital difficulties throughout the memoir, they decide to remain married, in large part because they want to take care of their children. During Luis’s teen years, María is an important presence in his life. She discourages him from participating in gang life, at one point forbidding him from living in her house (as a result of which he begins sleeping in the garage). Later, when Luis becomes more heavily involved in political activism, María supports him, even though she’s generally suspicious of political activism. In all, María is portrayed as a passionate parent who takes childrearing very seriously, and hates to see her son get involved in trouble of any kind.

María Rodriguez Quotes in Always Running

The Always Running quotes below are all either spoken by María Rodriguez or refer to María Rodriguez. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Always Running published in 2005.
Chapter 8 Quotes

I could see my mom and dad with a couple of Bienvenidos staff members in the front desk area. I looked over where Night Owl was still holed up.
"Hey dude, here's for Sangra," and I stuck out my hand.
Night Owl looked at me for a second, then smirked, and shook my hand through the bars.

Related Characters: Luis Rodriguez (speaker), Alfonso Rodriguez , María Rodriguez, Night Owl
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Always Running LitChart as a printable PDF.
Always Running PDF

María Rodriguez Character Timeline in Always Running

The timeline below shows where the character María Rodriguez appears in Always Running. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...Gloria were sitting beside him. At the same time, his parents were arguing: his mother, María, wanted to move back to Mexico, but his father, Alfonso, was reluctant. (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...that they’ll be American citizens. His father, Alfonso, is an educated man who later marries María, his secretary. Alfonso is a high school principal, a powerful position in Mexico. Because he’s... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
María is thirteen years younger than Alfonso. She’s never been in a relationship with another man,... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...monkey—meaning that Luis usually loses the game, and Rano sometimes hits Luis. When this happens, María whips Rano. Other kids in the neighborhood attack Rano, and sometimes he comes home bleeding.... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Class Theme Icon
María works as a maid, meaning that she gets to see “nice, American, white-people homes.” She’s... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...toughest kid in school, meaning that bullies no longer pick on him or Luis. But María is unsatisfied with her new neighborhood, partly because the other women tend to be healthier... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...arm with a nail file. Soon afterwards, the landlord evicts Luis’s family. At this point, María and Alfonso decide to separate. (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...his brother were fighting in the car, his parents had separated, and Alfonso was driving María and the children to the station so that they could return to Mexico. At the... (full context)
Chapter 2
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
...is getting into trouble at school. He doesn’t discipline his son, leaving this up to María. Luis’s mother is an intense woman who punishes Luis whenever he misbehaves. She knows that... (full context)
Chapter 4
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
For months, Luis has been “exiled to the garage.” María has grown exasperated with pulling him out of jail cells and hearing about his gang... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
The next morning, Luis enters the house, breaking his agreement with María. María ignores him. But when he asks if he can eat breakfast in the house... (full context)
Chapter 6
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
Luis spends most of his time in the garage. Sometimes, María tries to encourage him to go back to high school. She summons Mr. Rothro, the... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Class Theme Icon
Politics, Resistance, and Activism Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...ahead to victory, viciously beating Luis. Luis’s family isn’t sure whether to congratulate Luis, and María simply cries. (full context)
Chapter 7
Race, Racism, and Class Theme Icon
Politics, Resistance, and Activism Theme Icon
Luis and Esmeralda study Aztec dance for weeks, and María, along with mothers of other ToHMAS members, designs the Aztec costumes. Weeks later, Luis and... (full context)
Chapter 10
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...nearby San Pedro. Before he leaves, however, he says goodbye to his mother and father. María tells Luis that she admires him for sticking to what he believes, even though she... (full context)