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Tangerine:Novel Summary: Part 3: November 29-30

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Part 3:

Wednesday, November 29

Theresa, Luis’s sister, calls Paul to tell him not to come to Luis’s funeral. She did not want any more bad things to happen. Paul realizes that everyone knows what really killed Luis, and Paul is not wanted there because he is Erik’s brother. Paul has an exchange with a small boy outside. It becomes clear that Paul is very much thinking about his own visual disability and how it arose. He mentions the story about a kid staring at a solar eclipse and going blind.

 

Analysis

Paul has been trying for some while now to recall what happened to damage his eyes. His interaction with the boy here shows that he is now certain that his parents have lied to him about the incident. He is angry about it.

 

Thursday, November 30

Paul goes outside to the yard and digs a hole in the dirt, thinking about Luis. He cries.

 

Friday, December 1

Paul and his family go to the senior award night. The event begins with a tribute to Mike Costello. The senior football players are honored, one by one, and each walks out and stands in front of the crowd. The event is disrupted by Victor and Tino. Tino assaults Erik and Victor takes on Arthur Bauer. In the chaos that follows, Tino is caught by Coach Warner but Victor escapes. But then Paul jumps on Coach Warner’s back, and Tino manages to get free and escape. Paul is hauled into the coach’s office but then he manages to escape too. He runs all the way home. While he is still outside, Erik and Arthur drive up. Arthur has a baseball bat in his hand. Paul does not flinch. Paul says he knows that Arthur killed Luis, but Erik says no one will believe him. Erik, in a fury, drives off with Arthur.

 

Jogged by the fact that Erik called him Castor, Paul finally remembers what happened to his vision when he was five years old. Erik and his friend Vincent Castor had sprayed paint into his eyes because they mistakenly thought Paul had reported them for spray painting a wall. He confronts Mom and Dad with his memory, and they admit that that was what had happened. They knew what Erik had done but did not tell Paul because they did not want him to hate his brother.

 

Analysis

The anger the younger boys feel toward Erik and Arthur now boils over as Victor and Tino pay them back for what they did to Luis. Paul shows solidarity with his Tangerine classmates and also has the courage later to stand up to Erik and Arthur, even though they threaten him. He is showing some admirable qualities here, even though he will face punishment for jumping on Coach Warner’s back. The wheel has turned full circle now: the boy who was bullied confronts those who abused him, and it causes the bullies to run.




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