Spare Parts

by

Joshua Davis

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One of the four students who compete in the MATE competition as a part of the Carl Hayden robotics club, along with Oscar, Lorenzo, and Cristian. Luis was brought by his mother, Maria Garcia, to the U.S. to give him better educational opportunities, and ultimately his father Pedro is able to get him and the rest of the family green cards. Through middle school and high school, Luis also starts working in various restaurants to help support the family. Luis is not particularly interested in school, but he understands the sacrifices his parents have made for him to go. During his senior year, Luis takes Fredi’s Senior Science Seminar and Fredi tells him he can get credit by joining the robotics team (particularly because the kids need a little more strength on their team to help build the robot). Luis serves as the brawn of the operation, at six feet tall and 250 pounds. He is also a very quiet kid, and so most students in the school leave him alone because they are intimidated by him—that is, until Oscar befriends him. Luis proves crucial in not only helping the other students to build the robot, but also when he shows the judges that he has also been learning the science behind the machine they’ve built. Like Lorenzo and Cristian, Luis also has a hard time building a successful life after the competition. He starts a catering business with Lorenzo, but mostly he works as a garbageman.

Luis Aranda Quotes in Spare Parts

The Spare Parts quotes below are all either spoken by Luis Aranda or refer to Luis Aranda. 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:
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Spare Parts published in 2014.
Introduction Quotes

There were teams from across the country, including students from MIT, who were sponsored by ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded company. The Latino kids were from Carl Hayden Community High School in West Phoenix.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

As a NASA employee, she had become accustomed to working with engineers who conformed to a sort of industry standard: white, well educated, conservative clothes. These four teenagers standing in front of her signaled that the future looked different.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
One Quotes

I've got to create something that doesn't compete with other science centers; it's got to compete with the World Series and the Super Bowl. I’ve got to find a way to make science and technology cool.

Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
Two Quotes

The whole point was to give the guys a chance to accomplish something beyond what they thought possible. But if they showed up at the event and failed utterly, it would only reinforce the impression that they didn't belong in the contest in the first place. That could leave a kid such as Lorenzo with a permanent sense of inferiority.

Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

For Lorenzo, the robotics team was like a new family. In some respects, Fredi and Allan were surrogate parents, constantly advising him and pushing him to do better. […] A team spirit had developed. Lorenzo wasn't the only one sitting in the front row of his classes.

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

“It needs a name,” Lorenzo said.
Oscar remembered Lorenzo’s choking on the glue fumes and suggested, “Why don’t we call it Stinky?”

Related Characters: Oscar Vazquez (speaker), Lorenzo Santillan (speaker), Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda
Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

The group also offered some of the same benefits of being in a gang. Now that he hung out with Luis on campus, Lorenzo found that other students were less likely to make fun of him.

Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Three Quotes

It reminded them that they were doing something they had never done before. In Phoenix, they were called illegal aliens and pegged as criminals. They were alternately viewed as American, Mexican, or neither. Now, for a moment, they were simply teenagers at a robotics competition by the ocean.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:

Stinky represented this low-tech approach to engineering. But that was exactly what had impressed the judges.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Four Quotes

“If the really long list of immigrant inventors who have made this country and the world a much better place is to stop here and now, we will also likely become the newest declining nation,” one reader commented.

Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

In reality, life is more complicated. The attention paid to the team as a result of their victory coincided with a backlash against immigrants in Arizona.

Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Spare Parts LitChart as a printable PDF.
Spare Parts PDF

Luis Aranda Character Timeline in Spare Parts

The timeline below shows where the character Luis Aranda appears in Spare Parts. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
On June 25, 2004, Cristian Arcega, Lorenzo Santillan, Oscar Vazquez, and Luis Aranda stand in a classroom at the University of California, Santa Barbara, presenting their project... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Spence then turns to Luis (who is seventeen, six feet tall, and 250 pounds), who hasn’t said anything yet. The... (full context)
One
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Luis Aranda is born a perfectly normal-sized six-pound baby in a shack in the city of... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Maria Garcia can’t part with Luis, but she does consider how she might be able to give him a better life.... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
By sixteen, Luis is 205 pounds, six feet tall, and a quiet kid. He’s not particularly interested in... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The kitchen fascinates Luis, and he starts cooking at home as well. By high school, he is working as... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
At the beginning of senior year, Luis enrolls in Fredi’s Marine Science Seminar, which is meant to be an opportunity for seniors... (full context)
Two
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Luis makes some progress, approaching his boss at the restaurant, Harold. Harold is astonished to learn... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
In November, Fredi takes some of his marine science students, including Oscar and Luis, to see the ocean. On the drive, Oscar and Luis bond talking about cars. Oscar... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
The ocean is mind-boggling to Oscar and Luis. They have seen it only briefly and have never been in it before. On the... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Back in the car, Oscar and Luis marvel at their good fortune. They have seen the ocean, become friends, and gotten a... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Luis drives to Home Depot and buys twenty dollars’ worth of PVC pipe. Luis, Cristian, Oscar,... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...can’t waterproof a case to hold the battery they shouldn’t be in an underwater contest, Luis agrees, and Oscar relents. (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis take on the problem of propellers. At first, they reason that they need three—two horizontal... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Fredi suggests that Oscar and Luis consider trolling motors, which are used for fishing boats. They are efficient and small enough... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis then push around a piece of wood in a sink to figure out the ideal... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis find one final piece: a plastic briefcase that claims to be waterproof up to fifty... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...strong enough to cut the pipe. They have to cut eighty pieces. Everyone looks at Luis. He goes over to the cutter and feeds a piece of pipe into it. He... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...begin the ROV project, Dean Kamen releases his annual FIRST challenge. Cristian, Oscar, Lorenzo, and Luis are part of a larger team participating in the FIRST challenge at Carl Hayden. Kamen... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...how the team has some of the same benefits as a gang. Hanging out with Luis, for example, Lorenzo finds that students are less likely to tease him. (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The school year is coming to an end and Oscar and Luis are graduating just before the MATE competition in Santa Barbara. Each has to figure out... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...pipe using the electric heat gun. Lorenzo plugs it in and blasts the pipe, while Luis puts pressure on it. The PVC starts to bend, and Luis angles it into position.... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...it’s not a problem and marvels at the unusual crew filing into her facility: Cristian, Luis, Lorenzo, Oscar, Fredi, Allan, and Michael Hanck, who is there to help pilot the robot. (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Luis sets Stinky in the water, but it floats too well. The team removes some extra... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...decides to solve two problems at once. He applies red paint to any section that Luis shouldn’t grab onto or lift from, like the tubes leading into the briefcase; he paints... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
...that Oscar has to be the other driver, as Lorenzo is operating the sensors and Luis is needed by the edge of the pool to manage the tether and lift the... (full context)
Three
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...is the next day. When they turn on the controls, Stinky starts turning involuntarily, and Luis quickly pulls the robot out. They open up the briefcase and find water in the... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Luis stays by the pool while Cristian, Oscar and Lorenzo monitor Stinky on their video screens... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...the switch to pump the liquid out. They pilot Stinky back to the surface and Luis pulls it out of the pool. (full context)
Four
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...family savings he had hoped to use were spent on a new one. After graduation, Luis works two jobs and tries not to think about changing his life. (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...doesn’t show up to the ceremony. He then enrolls in Phoenix College’s Culinary Studies program. Luis also goes to cooking school. Together they form a catering company and find odd jobs... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...the university, and a variety of groups within the school rally to fund his education. Luis even gives him the remainder of his own scholarship money to help fund his final... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...Mexico. Allan and Debbie throw him a big welcome-home party in their backyard. Lorenzo and Luis bring the food. Oscar’s return has also drawn a lot of media attention, and he... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...in 2014. He works as a foreman in the locomotive shop at a train company. Luis empties trash cans at the federal courthouse during the week; on the weekends he caters... (full context)