In the movie Spanglish, Flor, the then housekeeper of Claskys' home was quite infuriated with Deborah's decision to enroll Christina in the private school Bernice, her daughter, was attending then.

A quick look in the Wikipedia's plot summary of the movie brings one's notice to this particular line:

She enrolls Cristina into a private school with Bernice, upsetting Flor, who wants Cristina to keep in touch with her Mexican roots and working-class values.

This pretty much answers the why query.

But, the question mark for me still remains: how does by attending a private school, one loses her ethnic roots and working-class values?

At the end of the movie, Flor asked her 'the most important question of her life, at a very young age'

"Is what you want for yourself to become someone very different than me?"

I'm not getting how by living with Claskys' and attending the private school, she would be different from her mother.

I'm just not somewhat getting the objection and the point of view of Flor.

2 Answers 2


There are several factors to consider regarding Flor's decision to want to keep Christina out of the private school suggested by Mrs. Clasky:

  • Mrs. Clasky made inquiries and basically forced the school onto Christina before even consulting with Flor.
  • Flor observed the Clasky family unit and the dysfunctions mainly at the hands of Mrs. Clasky.
  • Flor saw how unhappy Bernice was (mostly at the hands of Mrs. Clasky) even though Bernice was in the same private school.
  • Mrs. Clasky was interfering too much in Christina's life and had too much of a negative influence on her.
  • Flor noticed how Christina was starting to exclude Bernice from her and her more "popular" friends.

While Flor wanted Christina to succeed, she also wanted her to stay true to her working class roots and remember her heritage. While Princeton University surely represents the opposite, Flor desired Christina's adolescent years to be influenced differently.

The admissions essay that Christina narrates throughout the movie proves that Flor made the correct decision in that Christina is still in a position to attend Princeton while having left the other private school.

Flor was not necessarily afraid of the normal adolescent changes that Christina was going through. She seemed more concerned with the effect of materialism on her, especially at that age since adolescents are so impressionable.


Throughout the film, you can see Cristina changing her personality, being more superficial and frivolous with all things money can buy (Claskys's money, not Flors' money). Maintaining that way of live for a while could be nice, but tricky... in a sense, because it's not real and it can´t be kept forever (Cristina was not a Clasky and will never become one)... but above all I think it was the sudden change in her personality that scared Flor and feared she was gonna become a posh little something.

  • That's very much reasonable; it was obvious that Flor wanted to let Christina value the money but she was getting all that she wanted as well as nice gifts (the schoolbag, necklace) and surprises (shopping, hairdying, being allowed to watch movie with her friends in Claskys', getting $640, etcetera); also it added as a fire when Flor came to know Christina couldn't attend her relatives gathering. So, it is quite clear Flor was worried about the changes, as you confirmed above, in Christina.
    – user33741
    Nov 20, 2016 at 19:16
  • But the question, would by going to the private school, the sentiment, the perspective of valuing money would be changed? The solution could be just that Flor resign from her housekeeping job at Clasky and thus, the two family get separated freeing Christina from all the financial favors Claskys' were doing. Was attending/leaving the private school necessary?
    – user33741
    Nov 20, 2016 at 19:20
  • I guess not... but if I were Flor, and I could not pay the tuition myself... I'd rather my child attend some school I could afford myself. I can see from american tv and movies that in the US there are huge differences in private and public schools... but here in Spain that's not an issue... so maybe that is why I can relate to Flor.
    – urkidi
    Nov 20, 2016 at 19:25
  • 1
    But wasn't Christina getting a scholarship?
    – user33741
    Nov 20, 2016 at 19:40

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