I See You Never




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Presentation of the short story:
The story is about a man, Mr Ramirez, who comes from Mexico City. He lives at a rooming house, which is owned by Mrs. O'Brian. She has three sons and two daughters living at home. Mr. Ramirez has lived at Mrs. O'Brian's rooming house for than two years when we meet him in this story.
One day Mrs O’Brian heard a soft knock at the kitchen door. When she opened the door she saw Mr Ramirez and two police officers, one on each side of him. Mrs O’Brian asked what had happened. First Mr Ramirez was overcome, and he did not seem to have words to explain. But after a while he said: “I have been here thirty months”. And one of the policemen said that it was six months too long, and that he only had a temporary visa.
Then Mr Ramirez said: “So here I am, to tell you I must give up my room”. She asked him if he was going back to Mexico. And he said that he was, back to Lagos. Mrs O’Brian felt very sorry for him. Mr Ramirez had already packed his bag, and he gave the keys to Mrs O’Brian. He told her that she had been a good tenant, and he thanked her. Mrs O’Brian said that she was sure sorry. And then Mr Ramirez said that he didn’t want to go back, because he liked it there and wanted to stay. He had worked there and earned a lot of money, so he felt very sad when he had to go back to Mexico.
And suddenly he stated crying. His tears were rolling out from under his eyelids. He reached out his hands and took Mrs O’Brian’s hand fervently, shaking it, wringing it, and holding to it. And then he said: “Mrs O’Brian, I see you never, I see you never!” The policemen smiled at this, but Mr Ramirez did not notice it, and they stopped smiling very soon. And Mr Ramirez continued: “Goodbye, Mrs O’Brian. You have been good to me. Oh, goodbye, Mrs O’Brian. I see you never!”
The policemen waited for Mr Ramirez to turn, pick up his suitcase, and walk away. Then they followed him, tipping their caps to Mrs O’Brian. She watched them go down the porch steps. Then she shut the door quietly and went slowly back to her chair at the table. She sat down and started eating. She took one bite and chewed on it for a long, slow time. Then she stared at the closed door. She laid down her knife and fork. Her son asked what was wrong. “I just realized, said Mrs O’Brian – she put her hand to her face – “I’ll never see Mr Ramirez again.”

Characters: Mr. Ramirez: is a Mexican man who has chocolate brown eyes and black hair. He is a kind and a caring man.
He is also a hardworking man. He works at a plain factory and has made good money. For over two years he has lived at a rooming house, which is owned by Mrs. O’Brian. He saves his money and only drinks alcohol once a week, which makes Mrs. O'Brian respect him. He is very understanding when he gets sent home, and seems like a very decent man.
Mrs. O’Brian: is a kind, caring and sympathetic woman. She has three kids and owns a rooming house, and she is a widow.
Relationship:
Mr. Ramirez lives in a room at Mrs. O’Brian’s house. They have a very good relationship, which is very unusual between a landlady and a working immigrant. This is very unusual because white people tend to look at themselves like they are more worth or better than immigrants, who tend to be poor. He is also her best tenant and he has great respect for Mrs. O'Brian, which also makes her respect him.
Setting:
The story takes place in Los Angeles, California, and it is in the mid-1940’s during the Second World War. It is set in a working class environment.
Point of view, how and why:
The story is written in third person, in this is to make a neutral point of view. Although we feel sympathy for mr. Ramirez, the story is quite neutral. So you can decide for yourself which opinion about immigrants you want to take.
Theme:
The theme of this short story is to create sympathy for working illegal immigrants, and might try to say that the USA needs better rules for immigrants from Mexico, since many of them choose to come to USA illegally.This story tries to say that mr. Ramirez is a hard worker and does a good job, and is probably just as good of a person as any American, but he still gets sent home because his working visa has gone out. So another theme might be discrimination of immigrants.


Sources:
Picture: http://tojo2000.com/blog/2007_01_01_tojo2000_archive.html

http://www.enotes.com/see-you-never-salem/see-you-never