1) Throughout the chapter entitled “Tsismis,” there are little dialogues inserted in a darker color and a different font. What do these mean? Are they from a radio show like “love letters” or from a movie, judging from the names mentioned in them? Do they all come from the same source or different sources? What do these little excerpts add to the chapter and the story?
2) When Rio’s father leaves family dinner to make a phone call in his office, Rio comments: “My mother watches him close the door to his study with a peculiar look on her face. I am the only one who seems to notice; everyone else is busy chattering or getting drunk.” (65).What is this about, why is her mother looking at her father strangely? Could this be foreshadowing for her eventually leaving him? How does this scene add to the building of both Rio and her mother’s characters?
3) Again, we are confronted with the idea of madness or madwomen, when Leonor Ledesma says to her servant, “‘I am not a madwoman like they say…” (69). Is Leonor Ledesma mad? Does she suffer from a mental illness of some kind – maybe depression because of the way she yearns “for a sudden, painless death”? (70). Is she simply deeply religious? Is she just kind of strange? Is she perfectly “normal”? How does this discussion of madness relate and differ from madness in “The Woman Warrior,” “When the Emperor was Divine,” “Once the Shore,” and other times it has appeared in the books we’ve read this year?

Cosmy’s Reading Questions for October 28

2 thoughts on “Cosmy’s Reading Questions for October 28

  • October 28, 2019 at 5:00 am

    1. On page 57, I think the break from the narrative to the different story ties to Pucha’s desperation for a wedding and a rich lover. The break depicts Dona Booding hiding out and waiting for Nestor in the lobby of a hotel. While Pucha may have all the expensive haircuts and clothes, will she really be happy in a marriage that only benefits her monetarily? On the next page, Rio describes how her mother only goes to the golf club to watch Jaime, a man she has feelings for and may be possibly having an affair with. The narrative then breaks again to tell us that Dona catches Nestor with a young man, and demands for the lavish gifts she gave to him back. I would guess this is an episode of Love Letters, but it also seems to coincide with the actions of the characters in the original narrative.

    2. I honestly am not sure of the meaning of Dolores looking strangely at Rio’s father as he takes the phone call. I do not see how it relates to her possibly leaving him, though. I think maybe there is something going on with work that is stressing the both of them out that we haven’t learned yet.

    3. I think if Leonor was not forced into marriage with the General, that she would have became a nun at the orphanage she volunteers at. She is only pleased with the General when he donates her old piano to the orphanage, and tells him that he is beginning to atone for some of his sins. I think Leonor is a deeply religious woman, and would have a happy life if she had remained unmarried and joined the convent.

  • October 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

    1) I think the separated dialogues are really fascinating because I like to look at them as a comparison between celebrity and politics and the line that is often crossed there. Both celebrities and politicians are gossiped about in the same fashion and I think the small dialogues in between the larger story of gossip about politicians is a little reminder of that. I also think this is interesting to keep in mind because of the tie between celebrity and popular culture and politics and how they are so interconnected, and I believe more interconnected in this story especially than we realize.

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