Study Guide

Señora Rodriguez in In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

By Bette Bao Lord

Señora Rodriguez

This charming little old woman is the landlady for Shirley's apartment. Shirley has only seen her as a "sinister shadow" before, but when she is revealed to be the local piano teacher, she's just "short and stout" in shawls (4.34). She's a nice lady who's kind to Shirley, taking the time to not only show Shirley the ropes during their piano lessons, but also to reassure her. At one point, for instance, she says, "'angels […] geeve happiness to all living tings'" (4.39). Nothing sinister about this lady, despite Shirley's initial assessment.

Their friendship ultimately comes to flow both way, as Shirley figures out a way to help Señora Rodriguez visit her daughter, Nonnie, whom she misses terribly. Shirley offers to help Señora Rodriguez keep the house going while she goes away to see her Nonnie, and when she does, she makes the Señora really happy. Yay for neighbors who become friends.

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