The Brick People Character Analysis

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Alejandro Morales's novel, The Brick People, a polyphonic historical text that illustrates the complex dynamic of the Simons Brick Company and it’s Mexican employees. The structure of the factory developed from humble factory to a utopian village, where the Simons family held the power. Through forming a “model society” the Simons brothers were able to isolate and control the inhabitants within the town, creating an evident shift from utopia to dystopia as the amount of cultural transactions and disjunctures continue to rise generationally. Morales analyzes how themes of hierarchy and power transverses different ethnoscapes externally and internally. The external structures of hierarchy that are obvious are between the Simon brothers and their…show more content…
Having worked several years in the brickyard under Rosendo’s watchful gaze, Gonzalo worked his way up the ranks by demonstrating hard work and devotion to the Simons new dream factory. With time, his work catches the attention of his patron, Walter Simons, who on the eve of the Christmas celebration, appoints Gonzalo as head of law enforcement in the town, with a “silver star to his lapel and handed over a holster he hung from his waist” ( Morales, 56). The symbol of the silver star parallels those worn by the Texas Rangers, an authoritarian group that would terrorize Mexicans and those of non-anglo descent. As Walter associated Gonzalo with the Rangers, he is exchanging part of his anglo culture or violence and dominance onto Gonzalo, allowing him to believe that he too is on the same level as the white man. This cultural transaction creates an evident power shift that shows itself after the earthquake in San Francisco. Gonzalo experiences isolation within in his own ethnoscape, upon observing his workers who had blindly accepted twenty four hour shifts. He realizes that he was “strictly a foreman to them and not much else. He was never invited to their homes, but at times he would socialize by having a drink or playing cards” (Morales, 59). Towards the end of the novel, Gonzalo truly becomes an enemy in the eyes of his workers and an extension of Walter’s thoughts, actions, and needs, providing him with honorary whiteness, when the workers make an effort to unionize, Gonzalo brings “the scabs” in order to keep up production ( Morales, 237) adjoining him to the mentality and needs of the bosses versus those of his own
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