The protagonist doesn’t give detail about her death which questions the mother’s health. The warden describes Marengo as not being able to look after his mother properly and that “she needed nurse”, this may infer that the mother had poor health. The structure of Margeno’s opening paragraphs could infer that he was aware that his mother would die soon by the way he doesn’t seem distraught by when she died.
The other question is what is occurring in country within the book as he says that he was “cramped up against a soldier” whilst on the bus, which brings up the question is there a war occurring and whether it’s a civil war or not. He says that Emmanuel’s uncle had died and he may have died in a war. As the protagonist doesn’t go into a detailed description of his surrounding, it leaves the reader wondering about what is occurring at that point in time.
How poor is Margeno? He seem to have to borrow a tie which brings up the question of why he couldn’t buy it or whether he could afford it or not. Also the warden says that he earns “modest income” which seems like a polite way of saying that he seem to be poor, however the care may cost a lot of money. Since the reader is not being given much information on where he works it’s hard to make an assumption. He uses the imagery of “the smell of petrol” which creates the image of a congested city.
The opening pages leave various questions as the protagonist doesn’t go into to detail when describing his emotions, people or his surroundings. His relationship with his mother isn’t very clear, or the state of the mothers health before she died.