Reflective Essay 'Arrival: 1960' By Pablo Medina

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Expectations are the roots of disappointment; sometimes they are not met. Pablo Medina justifies this in his reflective essay “Arrival: 1960”, when transitioning from Cuba to the United States. He was in immediate search of freedom as opposed to communism back home. Throughout the essay, Medina describes his experiences starting from his excitement of exiting the plane and ending with his suspicious first day of school. His eyes see things that he could not understand at first, leaving him to reconsider his views on the United States. After reflecting on these experiences, Medina realizes that, sometimes, expectations are deceiving. When Medina first arrives in New York, he could not contain his excitement because he has never seen snow. Looking through the window, he describes the snow as “white” and “furry”(72). Medina uses the snow color as an indicator of his tone towards each of his new encounters while in the United States. “I rushed down the steps of the plane and sink my bare hands into the snow, press it into a ball, and throw it at my sister”(72). Medina compels the reader to infer that the white color symbolizes his great feelings. As the story progresses, readers get a taste of Medina’s different moods and colors of the snow.
As Medina gets closer to the city, his expectations, tone, and the snow color begin to alter. Medina and his family
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After being let down by the gloomy vibe of Manhattan, Medina started getting suspicious of what his first day was going to bring. “Inauspicious, blank, with shades half-raised on the windows, it could have been a factory or a prison”(72). Medina also explains that the snow is completely gray. Later in the day Medina witnesses a teacher dragging a girl down the hall, and then he smacks her. Medina was confused and he could not believe what he saw. At this point, Medina’s thoughts vanished; his experiences did not match his
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