Into the Beautiful North

by

Luis Alberto Urrea

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Chava Chavarín Character Analysis

When Irma was a young woman, Chava was a fisherman by day and a bowling champion by night, as well as Irma's love interest. He was the most handsome man in Tres Camarones, and he and Irma had sex after she won a bowling championship. Not long after, Chava went to Tijuana to fish and never returned. He was the first man from Tres Camarones to do so, possibly catalyzing all of the other men of Tres Camarones to leave. Later, Irma discovered that Chava impregnated an American woman and agreed to marry her. In the present, Nayeli discovers that the woman ran away before she and Chava got married, and Chava was too embarrassed and ashamed to return home to Mexico. He works as a janitor in a bowling alley in San Diego and is still illegal after being in the US for more than forty years. Chava is clearly terrified of Irma and needs a great deal of coaxing to meet her. When he finally does meet her, the two fall right back in love again, and he agrees to return to Tres Camarones with her. Though he seems to have hidden the truth from himself, Chava comes to realize that he was never truly happy in the US.

Chava Chavarín Quotes in Into the Beautiful North

The Into the Beautiful North quotes below are all either spoken by Chava Chavarín or refer to Chava Chavarín. 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:
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown and Company edition of Into the Beautiful North published in 2010.
Chapter 23 Quotes

Only when she was back in Tres Camarones did Irma hear from Chava's mother that he had impregnated an American woman […] Chava was marrying her.

That was the end of Irma, that day.

La Osa, her alter ego, appeared in all her relentless glory to inspire chagrin and penance in the homeland.

Related Characters: Tía Irma, Chava Chavarín
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Suddenly, Nayeli said, "I still want to find my father."

Idly, Tacho said, "Why would he want to go back?"

"Me," she replied.

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), Tacho (speaker), Chava Chavarín, Don Pepe
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

"Ay, m'ija," he sighed. "All they need is a few hot-air balloons to make it perfect here." Ahead of them, a hot-air balloon rose." "Oh," he said. "America wins every time."

Related Characters: Tacho (speaker), Nayeli, Chava Chavarín
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Into the Beautiful North LitChart as a printable PDF.
Into the Beautiful North PDF

Chava Chavarín Character Timeline in Into the Beautiful North

The timeline below shows where the character Chava Chavarín appears in Into the Beautiful North. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...promises to take the girls there someday, and says that she went there once with Chava Chavarìn. The girls sleep through Irma's monologue. (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...and asks Irma if she's ever been serenaded. Irma very nearly sighs as she mentions Chavarín again, but Irma cannot answer when Nayeli asks who can do that for her. (full context)
Chapter 8
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...grumbles but complies. Irma reminds her listeners of the first man to leave Tres Camarones: Chava Chavarín, the most handsome man in the village who moved to Tijuana in 1963. Irma... (full context)
Chapter 10
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...the far side of the city and lets them off, and Nayeli decides to call Chava so they can take showers at his house. They discover that their bags were never... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...phone numbers haven't begun with LIB since 1964, and there are no listings for a Chavarín in Tijuana or any nearby cities. Nayeli nervously returns to the table, where Yolo and... (full context)
Chapter 18
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...When Irma picks up, Nayeli begins to cry. She tries to explain to Irma that Chava is no longer in Tijuana. (full context)
Chapter 22
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Back at Ma Johnston's house, Matt and Yolo search the phone book for Chavarín. They find a Salvador Chavarín, and Yolo places the call. Chava is shocked when Yolo... (full context)
Chapter 23
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Long ago, Chava was Irma's bowling guru. He also introduced her to the cinema. Though Irma never cared... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Things came to a head at the state bowling finals. Chava lost early on to an upstart, so he sat and watched Irma bowl. Irma felt... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Chava was a fisherman by day and surprised all of Tres Camarones by going to Tijuana... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
...the Hillcrest bowling alley. Nayeli takes Matt's arm as they walk in and ask for Chava. The man at the front desk calls to a man named Sal and asks if... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Yolo and Matt bowl while Atómiko insults them, and Nayeli and Chava talk. He tells her how he betrayed Irma. Nayeli explains that Irma never married and... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Nayeli convinces Chava that Tres Camarones will be thrilled to have him back, and he agrees to join... (full context)
Chapter 25
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Chava accepted the girls' invitation to come for dinner, and as he drives to Matt's house,... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Chava picks Nayeli and Tacho up at eight the next morning. As they head for the... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Chava explains that he's only been to the migrant camp a few times, and he always... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Chava runs his cart into Sully's heels, frantically apologizes for being a "stupid Mexican," and ushers... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Chava steers the car inland and drives on roads that run through fields of flowers. He... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Chava drops Tacho, Nayeli, and Atómiko back at Matt's house around midnight. They find Carla in... (full context)
Chapter 26
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...she lost Yolo, Matt, and Vampi, and she wonders if she'll lose Irma now that Chava is in the picture. Nayeli understands that she's being demoted since Irma is here, and... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
A bit later, Nayeli knocks on Chava's door. He refuses to answer and asks if "she" is with Nayeli. Nayeli says that... (full context)
Chapter 29
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Back in San Diego, Chava polishes his shoes and dresses nicely. He feels confident as he drives to Irma's hotel... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Chava hears Irma call him from inside, and he retreats to the elevator. Atómiko sends Chava... (full context)
Chapter 31
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...all the coffee he possibly can, and Irma indulges him when he asks for donuts. Chava sits next to Irma: he's now the Deputy Mayor of Tres Camarones. Yolo and Vampi... (full context)
Chapter 33
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...men. Irma explains that she interviewed seventy men but only agreed to take home twenty-seven. Chava apparently fell for every hard-luck story, and Irma says that if they had Yul Brynner,... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...to San Diego to interview the rest of the seventy men, and she says that Chava thinks Irma will become president after this. (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
When Nayeli confesses she's tired, Irma insists that she changed the world. Irma orders Chava out of the room and tells Nayeli that she is the future and did something... (full context)
Epilogue
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...bandidos park their big, black cars at the major corners of the village. Irma sends Chava and García-García to Mazatlán so the bandidos won't beat them up, and grandmothers keep their... (full context)