Enrique’s Journey Analytical Essay
Enrique’s Journey is a national best-seller by Sonia Nazario, about a 17-year-old boy from Honduras. Nazario tells the true tale of Enrique’s migration into the United States in search of his mother. Enrique’s Journey surrounds the theme of family, by basing her findings around Enrique’s story, Nazario discovers the ways that immigration affects families. In Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario uses diction and imagery to help the reader further comprehend the story.
Enrique’s Journey is about a boy who is traveling to America in search of his mother. He begins his journey in Honduras. The novel is set in the 1990’s. This story is one I can relate to personally because my mother lives in Central America. Although there are moments of hope, the reader is brought intense sadness and hurt.
Enrique was a 17-year-old boy who was previously involved in drugs, until he left. He was a very quiet, shy boy that was also extremely determined to find his mom. “In spite of everything, Enrique has failed again – he will not reach the United States this time, either. He tells himself over and over that he’ll just have to try again.” His biggest conflict wasn’t finding his mom; it was getting to America. He encountered gangs, abusive officers, rapist, and drug lords along the way.
Nazario used Enrique’s detailed testimony to form the bases of the story. Nazario uses imagery in the lines, “This had been his first home, the small stucco house where he and Lourdes lived until Lourdes stepped off the front porch and left. His second home was the wooden shack where he and his father lived with his father’s mother, until his father found a new wife and left.” The author uses her description of Enrique’s house by specifying it as a “stucco house” which is a common material used in homes in Central America and by describing Enrique’s second home as a “wooden shack” implying that the family had to move to a cheaper house because of his mother leaving. Enrique moving from house to house, and having his mother and father leave him connects to the theme of family, by displaying the dysfunctional home Enrique had to grow up in. Additionally, Nazario uses imagery to help paint a picture in the reader’s head of what his mother looks like. As Enrique looks into the United States, he says to himself, “Somewhere over there, lives his mother. She has become a mystery, too. He was so young when she left that he can barely remember what she looks like: curly hair, eyes like chocolate. Her voice is a distant sound on the phone.” The Author helps the reader imagine Lourdes by describing her to have, “curly hair, eyes like chocolate.” This shows how long Enrique’s Mother has been gone as he says he can barely remember what she looks like, showing that their family has been torn apart because of her absence.
The author stresses the fact of immigration officers assaulting and killing immigrants. The author uses negative diction in the quote, “We are human. We should treat people in a humane way. It’s okay to send people back. But they shouldn’t shoot them, beat them this way.” Nazario uses negative words such as, humane, shoot, and beat. These words are associated with killing and violence. She is using these words to show the struggle immigrants migrating from Central America must go through. Enrique is encountering these dangerous obstacles just to see his mother, this shows the dedication Enrique has for reconnecting with his mother. Diction is also seen when Nazario uses negative diction to describe Enrique during his ambitious journey in search of his mother. “He was five years old when his mother left him. Now he is almost another person. In the window glass, he sees a battered young man, scrawny and disfigured. It angers him, and it steels his determination to push northward.” Nazario uses words like “scrawny and disfigured” to describe Enrique. Scrawny and disfigured is connected to sickness and weakness, and connecting that to Enrique, characterizes him as beaten up.
In Enrique’s Journey, the author utilizes diction and imagery to help the audience additionally understand the novel. Nazario’s story surrounds the theme of the importance of family. As Enrique is experiencing his migration, the author uses negative diction and imagery to give you the feeling of being alone and trying to survive through prejudice, illegal gangs, abusive officers, fallen relationships, and reconnecting old relationships. Sonia Nazario attracts the reader into her true story by detailed accounts on migration into America.