For example, each of the "models" are Mexican stereotypes -- the bandit, the docile farm worker, the sauve pachuco, and the palpable Mexican-American. While all of them have "desirable" qualities to the person purchasing them, it's the "undesirable" qualities -- the realness-- that turns Miss Jimenez off.
Miss Jimenez is looking for a "model" Mexican, hence the metaphor to a car dealership,( i.e. the setting) an item that can easily be purchased and customized to one's liking.
Miss Jimenez herself is a symbol. She, as the secretary of the governor, represents the government (as the "model" is for a press conference.) Her interest and disinterest in things, and how she views each model, is how government (in this case state government) sees Mexican-Americans. This, again, was during the time of the Chicano movement and the United Farm Workers' strike.
The more Miss Jimenez considers the model the quicker she says no, accelerating the plot. This quickness aids the acto since actos are short anyway. That makes the plot lean. There's not a lot of extras in the play, therefore, the plot moves quickly.
We get a good sense, or at least another sense of this challenging time, with the allusions made in the play about policies and politicians.
President Ronald Reagan. Before he became president, he was the governor of California.
Then-Governor Reagan was mentioned a couple of times in the play.
"You know these new farm labor camps our Honorable Governor Reagan has built out by Parlier or Raisin City? They were designed with our model [ farm worker ] in mind. Five, six, seven, even ten in one of those shacks will give you no trouble at all. You also put him in old barns, old cars, riverbanks. You can even leave him out in the field over night with no worry!" -- "Los Vendidos"
This quote alludes to the governor as being anti-labor union.
Let's talk about the point of view of the play, narrated by the Honest Sancho. Even this, the name of the narrator, is satire and ironic. Sancho means, in slang, the other man. Sancho has connotations of dishonesty, a slick liar, a con-artist. He is an honest liar, but a liar nonetheless. That means that the narrator is unreliable.
And in these ways and many other ways that we'll explore in our discussion boards, the play is a social justice play that touches on politics, social injustices (stereotypes) and issues of class of an emerging Mexican-American citizenry. That means they gained a power and voice that their parents and grandparents before them never had.
Below, watch the taped stage play of "Los Vendidos". Notice the differences between the stage play in your book and the performance below. Why do you think that is?