‘A Fabricated Mexican’ is a novel by Ricky Rivera in which he chronicles his life as he grows from a child farm worker to a Ph.D. candidate. He takes us through his journey in his search for his personal identity. In the book we find that his journey has not been an easy one. This difficult journey is due to many factors, most importantly the people who have surrounded him during this journey.
One of the characters who was a major influence in Ricky’s life is his mother. She is a very strong willed and opinionated person. As Rivera points out at the beginning of the novel “I am still amazed that I really don’t know who this woman is. None of us do. My brothers and sisters have conflicting fictions of where Chero is from, but we agree that if we could just pinpoint an exact geographical moment of being, we could start to figure out mother out.” (3) The author reflects on his respect for his mother when he writes about her determination, her purpose, her willingness to confront bosses, teachers, neighbors and husbands even as he states “to this day I still wonder who this woman is.” (10 )
Ricky respects his mother; however he also is in fear of her. Chero wants Ricky to go to college, but not necessarily for an education. He believes she wants him to go to college so he can collect social security checks each month until he graduates. When his mother sends him to see Dr. Howell to discuss his future, Dr. Howell states that Ricky should be led by his own convictions. When Ricky’s mother asks what Dr. Howell said, Ricky fabricates a story relating what he believes his mother wants to hear.
As Ricky continues his education, his wife suggests it is time for him to tell his mother about his educational successes. When he presents her with a letter offering him an appointment as a Teaching Associate, she comments “who are they talking about?” (73 ) When Ricky tries to explain what he has been doing his mother is more excited to discuss his nephew who wrestles at the same college, and another nephew who plays baseball. What Ricky wants most from his mother is her respect for his successes.
Another character in the novel who impacts Ricky is his father Ignacio. It is not until Ricky is an adult that he...