"The Red Umbrella," Vocabulary from Part 1

September 4, 2013
"The Red Umbrella" by Christina Diaz Gonzalez takes place a few years after the Communist revolution in Cuba. A fourteen year-old girl, whose parents fear for her life, is sent alone to make a new life for herself in America. Her journey and her growth are at the center of this novel.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
The poor woman would probably be so flustered that she’d pass out.
A caravan of large camouflaged trucks and jeeps came into view.
I half hid behind a coconut palm and watched as truck after truck, filled with men wearing fatigues, roared past me.
My parents were sitting at the kitchen table huddled around a radio, oblivious to the fact that the sun had set and that most of the house was now dark and full of shadows.
The voice of someone giving a speech was promptly silenced.
I strained to hear what they were saying.
I grabbed my pink robe and headed downstairs before Frankie could devour everything Mama had made.
I took the same nasal, monotone voice of my revolution-loving social-studies teacher.
He has replaced corruption with a new system of government that has brought much happiness to all the Cuban people.
Despite what I’d seen and how nervous the soldiers made me feel, there was an intoxicating kind of energy that filled the air, cloaking everything.
The prefix "anti" makes this the opposite meaning. In this specific case, it means against the revolutionary movement. Castro's regime used it for anyone opposed to communism.
We don’t have any anti- revolutionaries in Puerto Mijares.
The adjective "irrational" emphasizes that "hostage" is being used figuratively here, since the mother is not really holding her daughter prisoner in order to negotiate with someone else. Although this domestic situation is an exaggeration, it gives a hint to the political atmosphere of Cuba.
I didn’t want to admit that I was being held hostage by my irrational mother.
I’d heard stories on TV of traitors being executed, but those people were trying to harm us.
She reached over and put the silver-handled brush back on my vanity.
"In a few months, you’ll have your quinceanera and a year after that I’ll be chaperoning you on dates.”
Papa gestured toward us.
It came from Havana; they’ve taken Betafil into custody.
My only consolation was knowing that someday I’d be free of all their stupid rules and worries.
Maybe I could use the fact that Cuba’s labor union was supporting the nationalization of all the private schools to convince Papa that going to the meetings was okay.
Mama took out a starched linen tablecloth and snapped it open over the kitchen table.
As I stood by the large picture window in the front of the house, I caught a glimpse of Papa's silhouette.
I couldn’t believe how judgmental Papa was being.
"Everyone is in love with all the fancy rhetoric.”
"That it would be a shame if, because of a silly misunderstanding, I were classified as an anti-revolutionary and sent to prison like Betafil.”
A year ago, he was nothing more than a lazy salesman in a shoe store, and today he wants to dictate my code of ethics.

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