Francisco Jimenez shows a lot of sympathy, apathy, empathy, and advocacy in The Circuit. This makes the reader want to keep reading the story. It is easy to spot in his book. You just have to know what those terms mean. There are many times in The Circuit where these terms are not only written, but also felt by
the reader. That is part of what makes a book good.
The meaning of sympathy is to feel sorry or pity for another person. When someone breaks a leg, you have sympathy for him or her. “’Don’t be stupid… your family,” [dad] stammered. Gabriel held back. His face flushed with rage” (The Circuit, 92). This is a sign of sympathy because Francisco’s dad feels pity for Gabriel’s family, so he stops Gabriel from going into a fight. Gabriel gets the only money for his family, but if he gets fired then his family doesn’t get any money.
Apathy is the exact opposite of sympathy. It means to lack feeling for someone else. To see someone hurt and just walk by is apathy. “”Well this isn’t your country, idiot! You either do what I say or I’ll have you fired!” “Don’t do that, please,” Gabriel said. “I have family to feed.” “I don’t give a damn about your family!” the contratista replied, grabbing Gabriel by the shirt collar and pushing him” (91). This is apathy because the contratista doesn’t care about Gabriel’s family. He just wants Gabriel to work for him.
To have empathy you have to know how another person feels because you share the same experience. For example if someone is freaked out about going on a roller coaster, and you already went on the roller coaster, but you felt the same way then you have empathy. “After my brothers and I had put away our few things, I sat on the floor and looked at my pennies. I wanted to make sure they were not rubbing against each other in the box before placing them underneath the mattress. When I looked up, Rorra was standing next to me. “Can I have one?” “One what?” I asked. “A penny,” she answered. “Not one of these,” I said. “These are special.” She maid a face then walked away, stomping her tiny feet” (104). I have empathy for Francisco, because my little brother asks me for toys and gadgets all of the time. I usually say that he can’t have them, and he usually has a fit about it.
Advocacy is very different from empathy. Advocacy means to stand up for someone. If I stood up for my little brother while he was being picked on, then that would be advocacy. “”If Manuelito doesn’t play then I won’t either,” I said” (93). That is advocacy because Francisco is standing up for Manuelito in a game called kick the can.
I proved that there are advocacy, empathy, sympathy, and apathy in The Circuit. Francisco learned a lot in this story, and we learned a lot about his story. I think that he would be proud of us to discovery all of these details of his story. He probably didn’t see it like this when he was my age.