When I Was Puerto Rican

Armando and Ricardo Symbol Analysis

Armando and Ricardo Symbol Icon

Particularly once Negi reaches age 12, she becomes increasingly curious about what loving and healthy relationships look like, since Mami and Papi's relationship becomes increasingly fraught during this time. At this same time Negi spends her afternoons listening to soap operas on the radio. These soap operas offer convoluted storylines of women with beautiful names and men named “Armando” or “Ricardo,” and they introduce Negi to the idea that it is possible for men and women to interact kindly, romantically, and lovingly with each other. Armando and Ricardo in particular become symbols for what Negi wishes Papi could be to Mami, as well as for what Negi hopes to someday experience herself.

Armando and Ricardo Quotes in When I Was Puerto Rican

The When I Was Puerto Rican quotes below all refer to the symbol of Armando and Ricardo. 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:
Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Da Capo Press edition of When I Was Puerto Rican published in 2006.
10. Dreams of a Better Life Quotes

The women suffered. Frequently they were orphaned, brought up by nuns or stepmothers who made them do all the housework. In spite of this, they were cheerful and optimistic, never doubting that if they were pure of heart, life would eventually get better.

Related Characters: Negi (speaker)
Related Symbols: Armando and Ricardo
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:
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I called up the images of Armando or Ricardo, and with Mami and Papi's shrill fights as background, I imagined a man and woman touching one another gently, discovering beauty in a stubbled cheek or a curl of hair, whispering adoring words into each other's ear, warming one another's bodies with love.

Related Characters: Negi (speaker), Mami, Papi
Related Symbols: Armando and Ricardo
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
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Armando and Ricardo Symbol Timeline in When I Was Puerto Rican

The timeline below shows where the symbol Armando and Ricardo appears in When I Was Puerto Rican. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
10. Dreams of a Better Life
Identity Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Romantic Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...heroines. At night she daydreams her own fantasies of being rescued by an Armando or Ricardo. According to these soap operas, Negi will fall in love at first sight and will... (full context)
Identity Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Romantic Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...Negi thinks he looks like a Mexican movie star and thinks his name must be Ricardo. Her heart skips a beat. She wills the man to look at her and fall... (full context)