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So Far From God - Book Report/Review Example

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Running head: So Far From God by Ana Castillo Name: Institution: So Far From God by Ana Castillo In her work – So Far From God, Castillo brings out a rich cultural mix of lives, stories and experiences, all interwoven in a narrative about a Chicano family that is settled in the little town of Tome, situated in New Mexico…
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Download file to see previous pages The author, Castillo, in her major works writes about Chicano feminism and touches on other issues such as identity, classism and the all too emotive issue of race. The influence of magical realism is ever so present in many of her imaginative fictional works and ‘So Far From God’ is no exception. In it, she tells of intimate details pertaining to different people; of their losses and loves as espoused in the narrative. Through the narrative she uses magical realism that is focused on the examination of the lives of Mexican-American women eking out a living on the borders. Sofi and her family live at a crossroads between Mexican, Chicano and Spanish cultures that tremendously impact on their lives. The author clearly talks about the Chicano family bringing out issues about their identity and the challenges they passed through in their daily life activities (Castillo, 1993). She, Sofi, while juggling between childcare and her small business, confronts both the unchanging traditions that pertain to birth, growth (lifetime), and loss (death), and the modern scientific and technological era to which she belongs. The constant competition between her and her neighbors, in the religious traditions of curanderismo, Catholicism and folk-traditions; this pertaining to the Spiritual realm, was their comfort. From this, we can be able to perceive the notion pertaining to matters of the occult where a blend of the different religious identities resulted in a society that was deeply steeped in the world of magic. The opening chapter of the narrative is exemplified by the death of Sofi’s youngest daughter, Loca. She is supposedly transported through hell, where she is able to view its details and then miraculously transferred back to earth where she regains life again. She returns to Tome, where she has frequent epileptic fits due to her experiencing much of the spiritual realm. Other reactions include her, Loca, preferring the company of horses as opposed to human company; this due to her not being able to stand human scent. The fact that she is able to die; visit hell and arise again exemplifies the notion of interconnectedness of life, from a person’s or animal’s birth to the death time and finally into the spirit world (Castillo, 1993). The absence of Sofi’s husband Domingo, during the mourning period is also distinctive, as this may be attributable to deep rooted traditions and culture that gives preference of boys/ sons over girls/ daughters. Also the fact that none of Sofi’s relatives had approved of their marriage, and also lack of the local priest’s blessings; this through performing the wedding ceremony had added to the distance between Sofi and her husband. Domingo had actually left Sofi soon after Loca’s birth. The notion of tradition is present here; this informed by the fact that Domingo left Sofi, after her fourth daughter’s conception. This may emanate from the fact that they had been unable to conceive a baby boy, who traditionally is viewed as both the heir and head-of-family in waiting (Castillo, 1993). She, Loca, also likes to talk frequently with the folk character La Llorona, a Mexican-American and this exemplifies the notion of tradition that impacts significantly on the contemporary society. Her odd behavior, coupled with her different perspectives that are informed by her having gone to hell and come back eventually leads to the townspeople calling her La Santa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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