Into the Beautiful North

by

Luis Alberto Urrea

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Into the Beautiful North: Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Nayeli watches men burning the plastic sheaths off of wires and is shocked to see the Pacific Ocean on their right. Plastic bags float on the wind, and all around the base of the trash mountain are graves. On one hill are the graves of children; Tacho points out names written on baby furniture. Next to this part of the cemetery, Porfirio stops them in front of a blue shack and ushers his guests inside. 
The graveyard  illustrates the dump dwellers’ humanity, as it is clearly important to them to honor the dead and their relationships with the dead. The graveyard’s extensiveness also shows how difficult life is for those who live in the dump.
Themes
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Tacho made the mistake of purchasing rum as a gift when he went to purchase eggs, and now, hours later, Porfirio dances drunkenly. Tacho primly sips his rum, and Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi just sit on a bunk bed and stare at the filth. Araceli slices potatoes and onions and fries them in lard and then fries the eggs. Porfirio stops his jig to arrange six plates around a table and place two rolls on each plate. He cries as he says grace, and they eat their feast. A while later, a piglet and a duckling wander in. Porfirio throws them bits of his roll.
Sharing bits of his roll with the wildlife is an indicator of Porfirio's deep kindness: he understands that the animals need food just as much as he and his guests do. The shock on the girls' faces indicates that they never imagined a place or a lifestyle like this—further proof of their sheltered lives in Tres Camarones and their growing understanding of the world and of different ways to live.
Themes
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Yolo claims the top bunk for herself, and Tacho insists on sleeping on the floor. Nayeli shares the bottom bunk with Vampi, who mutters, kicks, and tosses in her sleep. At dawn, Nayeli gets up and goes outside. She's startled to see blooming roses planted around the couple's fence line, she but continues on down the alley. She hears a Dave Matthews song coming from a radio and feels as though this is the loneliest, saddest, most profound place she's ever been. The sorrow is almost comforting.
The roses tell Nayeli that these are people who are just as entranced by beauty as anyone else, and they do what they can to make their living situation ideal. Seeing the sadness of the dump allows Nayeli to understand that her situation isn't as bad as she thought it was yesterday.
Themes
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Nayeli wanders among the graves, straightening headstones and putting flowers on one. At the top of the hill, Nayeli turns and looks back. Suddenly, she hears a young man calling for her attention. Nayeli tells the man that she's not going to listen to him, and he says that that's a mistake.
When Nayeli turns this young man down outright, it shows that perhaps she has learned something about trusting strangers.
Themes
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
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