The Book of Unknown Americans


Cristina Henríquez

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Book of Unknown Americans can help.

The Book of Unknown Americans: Chapter 28: Arturo Rivera Summary & Analysis

Arturo lived all his live in Pátzcuaro, México—unlike other people who left town in search of “a better life,” he and his family always had “a beautiful life”—they came to America for their daughter. Arturo wonders whether God watches his people and whether things happen for a greater reason, but he concludes that he does not have the answers. Arturo is grateful for what he and his family have found in America—though they have not been in the States long, they have found friends that feel like family and have watched their daughter improve. Arturo wonders about the nature of longing and whether “the instinct of every immigrant [says] someplace will be better than here.” Arturo concedes that though the move to America has been difficult, he would do it all again, and he proudly proclaims that one day, when he and his family return to México, he will tell people there “all the ways [he] loved this country.”
In the novel’s final chapter, Arturo delivers a brief but inspiring message of hope, joy, and grace. Arturo exalts the immigrant instinct and the immigrant spirit, finding honor and nobility in the desire to find something or someplace better. Arturo himself is full of the longing that makes up so much of the immigrant spirit, and though he has encountered many hardships, he is full of gratitude and love for all that America has given him and his family.
The Unknown and The American Dream Theme Icon
Longing Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Community Theme Icon
Related Quotes