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Written response; What is the purpose of Mama's retelling of familiar stories, specially the cuentos, during afternoon coffes - Essay Example

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The purpose of Mamas retelling of familiar stories, specially the "cuentos," during afternoon coffees was to educate her grand-daughters on the reality of life with respect to all aspects in general and love and marriage in particular. Having moved from Puerto Rico to the US,…
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Written response; What is the purpose of Mamas retelling of familiar stories, specially the cuentos, during afternoon coffes
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Q Ans. The purpose of Mamas retelling of familiar stories, specially the "cuentos," during afternoon coffees was to educate her grand-daughters on the reality of life with respect to all aspects in general and love and marriage in particular. Having moved from Puerto Rico to the US, Mama was conscious of the fact that her grand-daughters might be exposed to a lot of risks and challenges since they were not being raised in the Puerto Rican culture and environment that Mama was used to. Through the cuentos, Mama wanted to make the girls warned of the harsh realities of life.
Cofer shares the significance of Mama to her in these words, “I saw her as my liberator and my model. Her stories were parables from which to glean the Truth” (Cofer 69). The characters in Mama’s stories might be fake, but they were knit into stories that depicted the realities of life. The girls were in the age of adolescence and thus, in a state of transition from childhood to adulthood. They needed an interesting way of being informed of the challenges lying ahead in their lives, and Mama’s cuentos exactly addressed that concern.
Cofer shares how she would reflect upon Mama’s stories together with Sara to draw conclusions from them in these words, “Sara and I discussed everything we heard the women say, trying to fit it all together like a puzzle that, once assembled, would reveal life’s mysteries to us” (Cofer 70). Mama’s house was a very suitable place for the cuentos to be narrated in as there was no intrusion of any sort from men in there; “Then Mama’s house belonged only to us women…and the women telling their lives in cuentos are forever woven into the fabric of my imagination, braided like my hair that day I felt my grandmother’s hands teaching me about strength, her voice convincing me of the power of storytelling” (Cofer 70).
The stories Mama narrated depicted, in one way or another, realities of the lives of her own daughters. Storytelling not only provided Mama with a unique and interesting way of developing a strong connection and understanding with the young grand-daughters, but also of raising them into well-educated, civilized, and decent girls who would not trust the love of men until they signed the contract of marriage with them. Mama’s stories had lessons hidden in them. Giving those stories deep thoughts would lead Cofer to the realization that a woman loses to nothing and nobody but her own self by letting herself fall into love; “We understood that neither the name nor any of the facts were important, only that a woman had allowed love to defeat her” (Cofer 70).
The stories as well as the way Mama narrated them instilled a sense of strength and balance in the young girls. The fact that Mama did not like the grand-daughters complaining or whining as she braided their hair and yet provided them with all the freedom they would otherwise not find outside her home suggests that Mama was a very important figure and influence for the grand-daughters.
Works Cited:
Cofer, Judith O. “A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood.” Read More
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