Always Running

by

Luis J. Rodriguez

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Rano Rodriguez / Joe Character Analysis

Rano is Luis Rodriguez’s older brother, and an important influence on Luis’s earlier life. When Luis’s family moves to Los Angeles, Rano quickly becomes violent and unpredictable. He has trouble adjusting to his classes, in which he’s mocked for knowing little English. But as Rano grows older, he undergoes a startling transformation. He begins to fit in at school, exceling at sports, music, and school. At this point, Rano begins to go by the name Joe. He becomes, as Luis puts it, “the Mexican exception,” i.e., a Latino immigrant who fits in at an American public high school. However, Rano grows apart from his brother, and by the time Luis enters high school the two of them aren’t particularly close. Nevertheless, Rano is an important figure for Luis: he introduces Luis to music and boxing and more generally he represents the young man Luis could be if he applied himself.
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Rano Rodriguez / Joe Character Timeline in Always Running

The timeline below shows where the character Rano Rodriguez / Joe 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
Luis remembers fighting with his older brother Rano. Once, when Luis was nine years old, he was sitting in the backseat fighting with... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
Growing up in Los Angeles, Luis plays with Rano, his brother. Rano plays the part of Tarzan while Luis plays a monkey—meaning that Luis... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
One day, Rano and Luis go to the grocery store to buy food for their mother. While they’re... (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
In Reseda, Rano becomes the toughest kid in school, meaning that bullies no longer pick on him or... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Class Theme Icon
Politics, Resistance, and Activism Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...with Seni, who lives with her husband and two daughters. Because the house is crowded, Rano and Luis spend most of their time outside. (full context)
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
One night, Luis and Rano come home to find the house surrounded by police. It turns out that Seni had... (full context)
Chapter 2
Machismo Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
Around this time, Luis and Rano drift farther apart. One day, two bullies who are upset that Rano has beaten them... (full context)
Chapter 3
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...Pancho moves in. In his late teens, Pancho is very cool. He introduces Luis and Rano to soul music and weightlifting. (full context)
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
Race, Racism, and Class Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...the age of nine, Luis’s parents tell him that he needs to start earning money. Rano is working as a newspaper boy, and when Luis turns twelve, he begins doing the... (full context)
Chapter 4
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
One afternoon, when Luis is fourteen, Joe accuses him of stealing his records. Luis tells Joe, “Fuck you,” and Joe attacks Luis... (full context)
Chapter 5
Gangs and Crime Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...they get a chance, as revenge for Luis’s involvement in the firebombing. Later that night, Joe gets a call from Gloria, begging him to pick her up immediately. Joe drives to... (full context)
Chapter 9
Machismo Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Mentorship Theme Icon
...State, and she accepts. At this time, Luis is dating multiple women (meanwhile, his brother Joe has married and had a child, Louie, named after Luis). (full context)