Critical Writing & Thinking
February 15, 2010
Machismo in Dominoes: A Showcase of Reckless Dominion
Therefore, despite Ebarito’s envious opponents and obvious lackluster domino skills, it is only possible that one thing leads him to duel in an arena that stands outside his realm. His insecurity about his acceptance among the “macho” men pushes him to prove himself in the game of dominoes. The game of dominoes is symbolic of manliness. Since he dominates the sexual field, Ebarito now feels the need to exist and gain respect among the masculine population. At the beginning of the story he tries desperately to fit all his dominoes in one hand. This symbolizes the attempt to embody the concept of machismo in its entirety.
Agueros plays upon this clash of machismo to bring about a thrilling climax. Ebarito being the only player drinking is symbolic of his loss of composure. He drinks to cope within the lion’s den. Paco on the other hand, “ was like a boxer dropping his gloves to his sides and daring his opponents to hit him”(Agueros pg. 18).
This surely highlights his confidence, it is as if he is luring his opponent to engage. Paco makes subtle but decisive moves, camouflaged by his casual gestures.
Machismo among the Puerto Rican males is a part of their culture. It cannot be denied, nor can it be forgotten. It lingers on the isle of Puerto Rico and it even lingers on a sidewalk in New York. This shows that the concept is rooted deeply within the Puerto Rican populous no matter the geographical location. Asencio Marysol’s Sex and sexuality among New York’s Puerto Rican youth, shows that Puerto Ricans living in New York are no match for their educated American neighbors, hence are jobless and probably disgruntled. Consequently Paco ,Wilson, Tito and Ebarito devote their attention among themselves on concepts of social domination like machismo. The game of Dominoes in Agueros’s creation is an innocent past-time that holds so much symbolic meaning. Judging by his determination to play it, Ebarito sees it as a window of acceptance into a world of macho men; to Paco it is just a manly past time. Dominoes by Jack Agueros is rich with Puerto Rican culture. The concept of machismo breathes through culture and lives within the souls of Puerto Rican men.
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Asencio, Marysol. Sex and sexuality among New York’s Puerto Rican youth . Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers , 2002.
“Culture of Puerto Rico”. Advameg Inc.. 27th September 2009 http://www.everyculture.com/No-Sa/Puerto-Rico.html.
Montesinos, Luis and Juan Preciado. “Puerto Rico”. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. 5th Oct. 2009 .