Into the Beautiful North


Luis Alberto Urrea

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Into the Beautiful North: Chapter 35 Summary & Analysis

Tacho and Nayeli decide to leave the dead van in Kankakee, and Mary-Jo drives them to the bus station. Nayeli tells her that she's going to tell her mother that she simply didn't find her father, and Mary-Jo offers her apologies. Mary-Jo helps them purchase their tickets to San Diego, and they stand transfixed as the TV above the ticket counter shows Mexicans jumping over the fence into Arizona. The ticket seller looks embarrassed, shuts off the TV, and apologizes, and Nayeli thinks she loves the man. When the bus arrives, Mary-Jo hugs Nayeli goodbye. Tacho races onto the bus and Nayeli follows him.
When Nayeli decides to lie to her mother, it shows that Nayeli has learned that disillusionment is painful and difficult to come to terms with. By not telling her mother that Don Pepe has a wife (or girlfriend) and a child in America, Nayeli allows her mother to hold on to a sliver of hope that Don Pepe will one day return. Also in this passage, Mary-Jo engages with Nayeli and Tacho as people worthy of help and respect, offering a remedy for the racism Nayeli encountered in San Diego.
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon