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Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World


by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World Theme of Power

Marcelo in the Real World shows us how money brings both power and corruption. Sandoval and Holmes attain their power (and their riches) by behaving like giant bullies, and Jasmine tells Marcelo that people hire them because they're the best at being mean and ruthless. But the money comes with a big karmic invoice—they have to look the other way when really bad things happen to people like Ixtel. Wendell's totally cool with it, because hey, mo' money, mo' yachts. Marcelo, on the other hand? Not so much. And when he learns how his dad pays for Paterson, suddenly going back there doesn't seem nearly as important as helping someone who's hurting.

Questions About Power

  1. If Marcelo didn't have Asperger's, would he have become like Wendell? Are his cognitive differences solely responsible for his purity of heart?
  2. Does Adam and Eve's post-apple-eating shame prove that Satan has more power over people than God?
  3. When Marcelo helps Ixtel, is there some part of him that's asserting his power over Arturo, or does he just want to do the right thing?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Wendell has been so corrupted by power and greed that he's willing to basically rape women.

Once he learns about Arturo's cheating, Marcelo has a kind of power over his mother, but he chooses not to use it so as not to hurt her. What can we say? He's a nice guy.

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