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In “Night at the Fiestas,” main protagonist Frances struggles with who she is and what she wishes to become.  As the story begins, she is a sixteen-year-old overprotected and modest young women who yearns for more. She is not satisfied by her surroundings, herself, or her family. One could say she is a little ashamed.

On the bus ride to Santa Fe to partake in the Night at the Fiestas, Frances attempts to read her book and ignore her overly friendly father–the bus driver. She wants little to do with his conversation and interaction with others. She even moves her seat to be further away from him and his unwarranted disruptions. Slightly agitated, she continues to read until she begins speaking with a mysterious man who claims to be a painter. The interaction which involves flirting, and probably a little lying, leaves her unmoored.

Eager as she is to get to the Night at the Fiestas, to become someone new, someone different: she is aware that she is continually uncomfortable. This discomfort does not waver throughout the festivities or conversation with her fast-paced cousin Nancy.  It instead moves her inward to reflect on who she thinks she is and who she thinks she wants to be.

This startles her and warrants a realization all its own.

Don’t grow up too fast. Don’t be adverse to change or routine. Use your discernment.


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