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American Dirt


"American Dirt is a Grapes of Wrath for our times."
—Don Winslow
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El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

Created: 02/10/20

Replies: 8

Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I was very surprised that El Chacal did not make a greater attempt to prevent Soledad from taking his gun after she rescued Rebecca from Lorenzo. El Chacal had a system that seemed very well thought out and controlled during border crossings. His behavior in this instance didn't align with that. I wonder what others think was going on with him at this point.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Andrea

Join Date: 08/31/18

Posts: 32

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

From what I can tell, even El Chacal does not believe his actions were fully accidental or fully intentional.

"He knows better than to give Soledad the gun. But on the other hand, the coyote feels nothing but disgust for Lorenzo. . . . So perhaps it's not entirely accidental, what happens; maybe El Chacal willfully mistakes Soledad's gesture for something else."

Maybe he is just yielding to the laws of the wild.


Posted Feb. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 173

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I thought this was out of character as El Chacal seemed to take his responsibilities for each of his charges very seriously. I understand that this was the logical way for Lydia to be in possession of the cell phone and find out about Lorenzo’s true self.


Posted Feb. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I wondered what others thought because one of the criticisms of the novel, in a particularly nasty blog, accused Cummins of writing a "telenovela". As a friend and I were discussing this scene in the book, she thought it was a unnecessarily overdramatic. While it seemed to violate El Chacal's code of conduct, right before this scene, El Chacal had been ruminating about how he got started in this business and how much he used to enjoy what he did. I have loaned my copy of the book, so I am not sure I am remembering correctly- -but I think he was considering retirement because he was losing his empathy for the migrants and bothered by all the new hassles of paying off this person or that person.

And even though "he knew better", perhaps this would be the deciding factor in El Chacal's retirement- -he no longer cares about his own "rules".


Posted Feb. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I think it was the only justice that was available in that moment. In other words, Lorenzo got what was coming to him.


Posted Feb. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
angelakuemmel

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 12

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

That surprised me! I thought he aimed to keep better control of the group


Posted Feb. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
viquig

Join Date: 06/25/14

Posts: 62

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I was disappointed because I don't think El Chacal's actions are believable. The author described El Chacal as a careful man that wouldn't tolerate any actions that could compromise the group's chances of crossing the border safely. The death of one of the migrants would be a risk to the entire group as well as to himself, therefore, not consistent with the author's depiction of his character.


Posted Feb. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TLVZ721

Join Date: 03/26/18

Posts: 21

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I don't view his actions (or inactions, really) as "letting" her deal with Lorenzo. I think he was just as shocked as anyone else. And at that point, what was done was done. But through the events that transpired after Lorenzo's death (Lydia finding his phone) and Soledad's bottled up rage at her abuser, hindsight says it was inevitable. And I can't say that I was sorry when it happen.


Posted Mar. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 154

RE: El Chacal's willingness to let Soledad deal with Lorenzo

I am not entirely surprised by that scene. It was made very clear that El Chacal did not like Lorenzo and viewed him as trouble. Lorenzo repeatedly questioned El Chacal's choice of route, didn't respond appropriately to his prompting to repeating directions and was an all around disruptive force. None of those behaviors made him an asset for the journey, in fact, he seemed a liability to the mission. After Lorenzo attempted to rape Rebeca what good choice was there? It was possible that the other men might try to punish him later which could cause a greater risk. None of the women would feel safe in his presence which could endanger the journey. El Chacal would have to watch him constantly and that too would complicate his ability to lead the group to safety. When earlier in the book El Chacal's background and future plans are revealed it seems he is at a point of no return. The easiest answer for everyone was to find a way to separate Lorenzo from the group. Bless Soledad's heart as she did them all, including El Chacal, a favor.


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