Marcelo in the Real World
by Francisco X. Stork
Aurora's an oncology nurse, and she's a whole heckuva lot more attuned to folks' suffering than Arturo is (a rattlesnake is too, but that's beside the point). She's also more attuned to Marcelo's needs, which gives her way more parental points than her counterpart. Even though she doesn't stand up to Arturo about the Oak Ridge High thing, she does talk to Marcelo's doctor and boss about their decision to make sure they approve. They don't, but this is Arturo we're talking about, so she goes along with it.
But Aurora's done some great stuff for Marcelo, like hooking him up with her friend Rabbi Heschel and driving him to the temple every other week so he can learn about a religion besides their own. We never see Marcelo tell anyone else he loves them, but with Aurora "I sign I love you with my hand, the way I learned at Paterson" (22.24). And, when "she touches her heart with her hand and then she touches my chest," (22.25) we see that she's been the parent who's really known him all along.
So why, you may be asking, didn't she stand up to Arturo and tell him to let Marcelo work at Paterson? Sure, Arturo's the guy she married, so she probably agrees with him on at least a few things. But we also have to look at this from a socioeconomic standpoint, which is to say: Arturo makes the money. He's why Aurora has what she has. Yes, she's got a job, but unfortunately, being a nurse doesn't bring in the same kind of cash as owning your own law firm.
Stork never comes right out and tells us this, but Aurora seems to be either (a) really clueless, or (b) good at ignoring stuff that might threaten her happy, cushy upper-class existence. For example, she doesn't seem to guess that something might have gone down between Arturo and Jasmine, despite how uncomfortable he seems when Marcelo and Jasmine start getting all BFF-ish. It's unfortunate, but it's true. As we see with Arturo, large sums of money can keep people from doing the right thing.