Ricky Randazzo Dr. Littler English 190 8 June 2012 Section 1 2. Compare what Cuba means for Pilar in the beginning of Dreaming in Cuban with what it comes to represent by the novels end. Things that come to be expected can often be taken for granted. People who grow up in the United States come to expect certain freedoms because they have never been without those freedoms. Pilar in Dreaming in Cuban by Christina Garcia is no different. She was born in Cuba and was brought to United States when she was two years old.
In the beginning of the novel Pilar dreams of being in Cuba, but by the end of the novel Pilar knows she belongs in NY. One night Pilar see’s her father with another women, she runs away to Miami to catch a flight to be in her beloved Cuba. Little does Pilar know her feelings about Cuba are about to change. Growing up in NYC Pilar doesn’t feel like she’s American or Cuban. This could be the reason for Pillar’s controversial painting of the statue of liberty. Pilar is an artist, specializing in more abstract paintings.
Pilar feels that art is the best way to express oneself and capture the idea of rebellion, and revolution. She feels like her mother Lourdes took her from Cuba against her will when she was to young to realize. Pilar has not been back to Cuba or seen her grandmother since. Pilar wants nothing more but to go back to Cuba. In the beginning of the novel Cuba represents something that was taken from her, something she wants back, something she wants to be apart of, something that she feels like she lost. She feels like her mother Lourdes is restraining her from returning to her beloved Cuba.
This is possibly the reason why Pilar feels more connected with her grandma Celia in the beginning of the novel than her mother Lourdes. Celia loves Cuba the way Pilar thinks she loves Cuba. Pilar and Lourdes eventually return to Cuba for a week to see the family, reuniting them with Celia. When Pilar is finally in Cuba she realizes that it is not what she fantasized it to be. Pilar starts to realize all of the poverty in Cuba. She states, “ look at those old American cars held together by rubber bands, don’t you know you could have new Cadillac’s with leather seats and power windows” (Garcia 221).
Pilar is still naive at this point in the novel. She doesn’t understand the poverty in Cuba. Pilar also realizes that her and her grandmother Celia aren’t all that similar. She was searching for a mother like relationship with Celia because she thought they connected better than her and Lourdes did; however Pilar realizes that they are way different. They are so different it’s almost as if they speak different languages. Pilar realizes the toll Cuba had on her grandmother, she is old and run down both physically and mentally.
Pilar realizes that Cuba did this to her grandmother. Perhaps what solidifies Pilar knowing she belongs in NY is the scene where she gets hit in the face with the rock when trying to find Invanito. Blood is running down her face. She states that art couldn’t possibly capture what she was feeling at this moment. (Garcia)This is a way different Pilar then the beginning of the book. Where she believed that art captured this type of moment the best. Meaning that some things in life you just have to experience for yourself before you can have an accurate opinion.
Pilar states that she belongs in NY by the end of the novel after being sure in the beginning of the novel that she belonged in Cuba. Pilar realized all the freedoms the United States gave her that Cuba couldn’t. Pilar realizes she couldn’t paint pictures she paints in the United States in Cuba. Pilar also realizes how serious the poverty and the fighting is in Cuba. Pilar realizes the toll Cuba had on her grandmother. Pilar like her mother Lourdes realizes how great of a place the United States could be.
In the beginning of the novel Pilar took the freedoms that the United States gave her for granted, however only when she went to Cuba and had those freedoms taken away does she realize how great they really are. Section 2 1) Using a short story we have read and discussed during week 4, discuss how a parent/child relationship can enable but also inhibit an adolescent’s intellectual, emotional, and or spiritual growth. As a child you learn how to function in society by watching and learning from the people around you. The people that are around most as a child are your parents and siblings.
A Parent/child relationship can enable but also inhibit an adolescent’s intellectual and emotional growth. In the short story “Bad Girls” by Joyce Oates, Marietta Murchison has three girls Icy, Orchid, and Crystal and their parent/child relationship does just that. Marietta is a single mom and her three daughters are in their teenage years. There are no instances in the text that suggest bad parenting from Marietta. She loves her daughters and puts them as her number one priory over everything else. She even puts them over her relationship with Drum. Momma made her decision, like throwing a bolt to a lock door forever, she believed icy. She would never waiver in believing in Icy. Saying, “Nobody hurts my girls and gets away with it”” (Oates 424). Of course having a mother who loved them and put them first before anyone else enabled them intellectually and emotionally. This allowed them to go to school and to have a home with love. However with raising children everything isn’t black and white, children learn things not only through experiences they go through but also the experiences their mother goes through.
During the course of the story Marietta dates some guys, and it is implied that she has been dating guys for a while. The girl’s father left when they were very young so they already developed a negative connotation towards men. Their mom moves from one meaningless relationship to the next, their entire lives. This forces them to never trust any guy. They are confused and biased towards men. Orchard states, “Can a man have such feelings, like a women? Can a man be hurt? Is that possible? ” (Oates). Orchards and the rest of the girls have a take on men that is severely skewed.
The reason it is skewed is due to their mother’s relationships and experiences. Marietta Murchison was a great mom. She loved her girls very much and did everything in her power to protect them. This enabled her girls in a positive way to grow intellectually and emotionally. However her mom inadvertently inhibits their intellectual and emotional growth through her experiences and relationships. Her experiences and relationships force her girls to unintentionally distrust and misunderstand men. The Parent/child relationship between Marietta and her daughters enabled but also inhibited the adolescent’s intellectual and emotional growth.
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