Make Your Home Among Strangers

by

Jennine Capó Crucet

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Make Your Home Among Strangers can help.

Make Your Home Among Strangers: Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
By the time the girls get down to the rally, the camera people have moved on from their mother. Lizet is surprised and almost disappointed that Leidy does not ask her to elaborate on the confession she made about struggling at school.
Lizet both dreads telling her family about how much she’s struggling to and wants desperately to get the truth off her chest.
Themes
Isolation Theme Icon
That night at dinner, Lourdes talks excitedly about the rally. As Lizet eats the delicious meal Lourdes has made, she considers confessing to both her mother and to Leidy the truth of the problems she’s been having at school, but the dinner conversation is all about Ariel. Lourdes seems to have learned a lot at the rally, but some of it appears to Lizet to be hearsay—especially the fact that Ariel’s father, back in Cuba, gave Ariel’s mother his “blessing” to bring the child on a raft over to America. As Lizet and her mother argue about the truth of all the rumors surrounding Ariel, Lizet wishes she could talk to her mother about her own life and her own problems. 
Lizet’s problems have been placed on the backburner to make room for the developing situation over at Ariel’s. As Ariel usurps Lizet in Lourdes’s consciousness, Lizet feels increasingly isolated not just from her mother but from her entire family.
Themes
Home Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
As the meal goes on, Leidy and Lourdes ask Lizet about school—what she’s been eating, what her hardest classes are. Lizet tries to ease them into the idea that she’s struggling in English—the class in which she’s been accused of plagiarism—but her mother gets hung up on the fact that Lizet is taking an English class in the first place, unable to wrap her head around the idea that Lizet is not learning the English language in class but rather studying literature and writing. Frustrated, Lizet goes back to eating, ignoring the hail of questions and judgements her mother and sister rain down upon her.
When Lourdes and Leidy do finally try to talk to Lizet about university life, they are focusing on all the wrong things. They can’t begin to understand what college is like for Lizet, and though she wants to help them see into her world, she grows easily frustrated with their failure to understand the ins and outs of the new world she’s exploring.
Themes
Isolation Theme Icon
Lourdes asks Lizet if she is planning to see Omar while she’s in town. Lizet privately doesn’t even know if she wants to continue her relationship with Omar—though her mother loves him and treats him like part of the family, Lizet has been thinking of breaking up with him.
As Lizet feels increasingly estranged from the vestiges of her former life in Miami, she is considering even letting her romantic ties go.
Themes
Isolation Theme Icon
Get the entire Make Your Home Among Strangers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Make Your Home Among Strangers PDF
Lourdes asks Lizet what time she needs to be at the airport the next day—Lizet lies and says noon, though her flight doesn’t leave until two. Lourdes says that’s a perfect plan, as there is an “Ariel meeting” on the street at two, and she wants to make it back in time. As Lourdes begins cleaning up the meal, she remarks upon what an “exciting time” it is—Lizet pretends the comment is intended to be about her rather than Ariel.
Lizet has been thoroughly disappointed by her visit home, and wants to head back to school as soon as possible. She did not receive the warm welcome she expected, and feels sad and betrayed to learn that she doesn’t occupy as much space in her family’s lives and minds she thought she did.
Themes
Home Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Familial Duty and Betrayal Theme Icon