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Bad Influence Summary
Judith Ortiz Cofer

Everything you need to understand or teach Bad Influence by Judith Ortiz Cofer.

  • Bad Influence Summary & Study Guide

Bad Influence Summary

Introduction

Published in Stories of the Barrio: An island Like You in 1995, "Bad Influence" details a summer in the life of a young Puerto Rican girl from Paterson, New Jersey. In keeping with the other stories in the collection, "Bad Influence" speaks to topics specific to young Puerto Rican Americans, while addressing issues universal to young people. At fifteen, Rita, the narrator, is at odds with the world of her Puerto Rican grandparents, whose eccentric, old-fashioned ways strike her as ridiculous. A typical teenager, she is hypercritical of the adults around her, and finds them invasive and disrespectful of her boundaries. Rita has been sent to the island to stay with her grandparents to keep her out of trouble with boys. Initially she is brutally caustic and critical of everything from her grandmother's telenovelas to her grandfather's spiritual powers (which she satirizes as Ghostbusting). Her take on Papá's...

(read more from the Study Guide)

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