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The Jumping Tree

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"Outside my door, I could hear him pacing. "Apa, the man, was there pacing back and forth like a lion might do to keep his cub safe from all danger. I so wanted to be like him." (pg. 181) Rey is the main character as well as the narrator of The Jumping Tree by analyzing Rey we become aware that he is desperately seeking to define a manhood style that can make him feel emotionally strong, intelligent, noble, but yet stand up for what he believes. In this motif analysis we can clearly describe how the three following motifs affect the dramatic experiences of our main character Rey and how the emotional atmosphere (tone) in the story is also affected.

In chapter two we notice how Rey observes the food table, how it has been divided into two sections. On one side of the table there are the soft drinks and food, while on the other side there are alcoholic beverages and that's where the men of the family are standing and drinking. "Rey, come and sit over here with the men."(14) The reader can sense that Tio Santos manhood has to deal with drinking liquor that is strong and only a strong man is capable of handling. Tio Santos also starts to question Apa's manhood since Apa refused to take a drink of Vodka. The emotional atmosphere in this chapter starts to build up when Tio Santos insults Apa and Apa just shakes his head and does not respond. Rey stares at his father and for a second a sense of confusion flashes through the readers mind as to why isn't his father responding, Rey knows that his father is man enough to stand up to his brother and we can clearly sense it when Rey refers to Tio Santos taking a step to far and if he was questioning Apa's manhood there would be trouble. Rey remembers of the many times Apa has talked about standing up, defending yourself. This is how the motif starts to develop and Rey becomes aware of the different manhood styles and starts to wonder what a real man should be.

"Let's just do this, Rey," Lety said. "I know you're the big eleven-year-old man and think you're just too cool for this, but let's dance this one song, and then you can go back to acting tough with you hands in your pockets and trying to look a cool-like" (pg. 33) Once again the idea of being a man comes up and Rey's attitude seems to affect the atmosphere of the story because there is no way is he going to dance the reader can sense that dancing and manhood do not go together. Lety sense it too so she goes on and pinches his muscle and commenting that lifting weights has helped build his muscular arm pretty stiff trying to reinforce his sense of manhood. We notice Rey's attitude changes for a second once he starts to dance he observes Lety and notices different facial features he was not aware before Rey even states how pretty Lety really is, even though there is no way he is going to tell her possibly because he thinks that comment would be to childish. Rey observes Apa and Tio Angel arm wrestling and he notices how his Tio Angel gives in losing the match and how he laughs once again noticing the style of manhood his Tio Angel and Apa portray. Apa and Tio Angel's manhood can be described as noble, sincere, loving and taking situations like losing with humor and as opposed their manhood being questioned. Tio Angel transmits to Rey that he looked real sharp in his tuxedo "Como un hombrecito". Rey and the reader become aware that a person doesn't have to dress a certain way in order be considered macho.

"But I am Mexican. I could not-strike that-would not back down. I would do the deed. It was a question of manhood. Macho o mujeringa? Pues macho!" (69) Once again Rey is confronted with the idea of being a Macho or becoming a mujeringa. The tone in this scene is affecting the dramatic experience and is causing the reader to become interested and continue reading. Rey is being challenged by his friends to jump off the tree and do his best trick. Rey start to analyze his internal feelings and Rey's conclusion is that he doesn't feel good or comfortable about the jump. Rey clearly states it will be a big mistake and that his stomach was a better jumper because it was already flipping inside. This would not be the only time Rey was challenged to



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