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Hidden Intentions

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 508
  • Category: Food

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A glance at the title “Deportation at Breakfast” immediately drew my attention. Perhaps it was Larry Fondation’s choice of words that struck me. The words “deportation” and “breakfast” could be interpreted as two contrasting terms. “Deportation” could be associated with an extreme situation, while “breakfast” simply suggests a mundane activity. By injecting a sudden twist in the plot, Fondation was able to create an extraordinary situation out of an ordinary day at the restaurant. However, what intrigued me the most was not just the plot twist but the narrator. After reading the last line “There was no way I could run this place alone” (215), I immediately sensed an shrouded connection between him and Javier’s arrest.

The restaurant scene was described in a very straightforward fashion. Although Fondation’s description was not extremely detailed nor did he make use of any elaborate vocabulary, it was enough to create a very common, believable atmosphere, the atmosphere he could use to divert the reader’s attention. Due the commonality of the situation, it did not actually generate suspense but more or less left the reader guessing where the author is going with the plot. The abrupt climax came so suddenly that it was able to catch both the reader and the narrator off guard, or so it seemed. It was during the food preparation scene that “the authorities” stormed into the restaurant. For a more dramatic effect, Fondation cleverly incorporated this into the narrator’s description of how his food was being prepared. “The eggs were spread out on the griddle, the bread plunged inside the roaster, when the authorities came in” (214). Now the story seems to have become more interesting, with Javier’s arrested, the reader anticipated some sort of reaction from the narrator, but only to find him returning his attention back to his food. In a sense, the climax of the story occurred in only one sentence.

Fondation drew the reader’s attention back to the food so quickly that Javier’s incident seemed like a detached event. Since other customers paid no attention to the incident, the narrator’s own impervious attitude did not particularly stand out, which helped conceal his true intentions. His behavior became more puzzling as he took on the role of Javier and began serving customers. I could see a reason for him to finish cooking his own food, but why did he stay to serve others? Why didn’t he tell anyone that he didn’t work there? When I reached the concluding sentence, everything became clear. The whole connotation of him thinking about running the restaurant implied that this was his true intention, and that he was the one that had contacted the authorities about Javier. That explains why he was able to calmly witnessed Javier’s arrest. He also seemed to have done his research and knew that Javier would not resist arrest, and thus the main obstacle was smoothly removed from his plan. Staying to serve the customers foreshadowed the role he would assume. Looking beyond this simple story unveiled a rather sinister plot.

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