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Well now I can finally say that have my own blog. If I will continue to write stuff in it will be up in the air for now. Maybe I will reflect on books for other classes that I have questions for or just post entries about books I am reading in my spare time. I had done this before for another class of mine but it was done on webct and for a history class (Latin American History Class) and found it was very useful in viewing other classmate’s opinions. But this time I felt it also helped you point out information that you did not pick up when you were reading. This proved to be crucial for me in Cien Anos de Soledad. Jorge’s family tree of the Buendia family at the beginning kind of put me back on track and practically help me understand the story. It was also nice to hear from people who agreed with you (Adriana did a bunch of the times and I think her for that), because it also reassured yourself that you were thinking about something that made at least a little bit of sense. It also makes us the student’s kind of keep up with the readings...to be honest with all our classes it is hard to keep track of all the readings for every class so this kind of put us in a position where there was no option left other than reading. Good Job Prof......

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Las Memorias de Mama Blanca

I have been reading some of the other entries that have been posted and I get the general consensus was that people enjoyed this book. I would have to agree with most of the class in saying that I enjoy reading books that I can kind of relate too and visualize myself involved in a story like this one. I also got the sense like (stephwong) mentioned the idea of social class also floats around a lot in this book and really relates to how Latin America (Venezuela in the book) functioned at the time and how it still does today. Even though being in the first part of the book, on page 91 the author shows this sense of the mom always caring about her looks and not having to worry about other issues families during that time had to worry about “La vanidad de mama tenia alli mucho de donde agarrarse”. Has the type of steep hierarchal class divisions really changed that much since this book takes place. I would have to say a lot of it still exist and just shows how books written generations in the past can still show something that still has a big presence in today’s society.

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The end of Garcia Marques 100 años de Soledad is marked by yet another act of incest. Aureliano II and Amaranta Ursula (Aunt and Nephew) and have a child which no surprise name Aureliano. Again while it is at the end of the book, it seems as this has been the case since the beginning. While Amaranta never allowed her self to have a relationship with Jose Arcardio Segundo, this generation ignores these rules and give birth to a child. The final chapter shows the final days of the Buendia family. With Ursula dead, Amaranta, both Jose Arcardio and Aureliano Segundo, Aureliano II and Amaranta Ursula are the remaining survivors of the Buendia family and also live a life of solitude. On another note I think it has been helpful to discuss this book in a class like this one because one can realize and understand the situation of the Buendia family throughout the book and break it down. You begin to notice throughout the book how much emphasis Marquez puts in the idea of the family and what he wants it to represent. For me it could represent something to understand the history of mankind. One particular thought that came to mind was that of Adam and Eve representing Jose Arcardio Buendia and Ursula. The second half of this book was much more enjoyable to read and easier to understand. Again like events like the massacre of the union workers, and the rain that destroyed the town for several years I think it shows how much Macondo has developed and how much it has changed since the beginning of the story.

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After this week of trying to understand Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his style of writing, I was much more observant what to look for and what to try to look at more carefully. Unless I don’t pay attention when reading or simply read to fast, I had not noticed before this week the amount of incest and the willingness of the characters to not let it bother them that existed in this book. Also how Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses similar names when a new character is being introduced and different versions of these names when new children are born. This book would have been really confusing without this class and the breakdown of what was going on. Regarding the second part that we were suppose to read we deal with more of Macondos troubles of the internal war between the liberals and conservative populations and the roles each one of these characters takes in it. One character that I was surprised that had a huge impact in this whole situation was that of Ursurla. In my eyes she was the unnoticed hero of the new uprising of Aureliano and his escape out of prison. I guess deep down inside I was routing for her, after the stuff that happened to her first half of the story. Again regarding the war Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses a little bit of Columbia’s history to write this book because this is what precisely happened there during the 19th century. The liberals and conservatives had great struggles with the building of Columbia and where they wanted to lead their country to.

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Marta Brunet’s “Piedra Callada” is a sad story showing the difficulties one faced during the 19th century when it came to marriage and the different social/gender struggles that were present at the time. When reading this story in my mind I kind of divided up in to two sections. The first section when I looked at the patrona and Eufrasia as being cold harsh characters who didn’t understand Esperanzas love towards Bernabe From what I understood it looked like the mother was upset that Esperanza wanted to marry him because he wasn’t good enough for her at the social level. When she said that once they got married she would never have a mother again, was really sad and I was all for their marriage and really mad at the mom. But after the death of Esperanza the second section of the story takes place where the gender issues comes up and you see how Bernabe relationship was really with Esperanza and the kids. He abused them and had no remorse to what he was doing. This was a complete turnaround form the start of the story when you felt like you should like this character. Maybe Brunet shows these two sides to give witness to what were the different issues that existed in Latin America at the time, and how they played out. Although sad I thought I was a good story because even though you want to hate Eufrasia for hitting in and hating her daughter for marrying this moron, you can’t help to end that she was in fact doing this because she loved her daughter so much and didn’t want her to get hurt.

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Pablo Neruda’s 20 poems describes one mans desire and anguish he has towards a certain woman. Since being poems there are many ways to analyze what is written and how one should interpret it. Three things jumped out at me when reading these poems. The first was Neruda’s way of describing this man love and pain towards this woman. He uses nature a lot of the time to describe what this man thinks about this woman. At the start of page 93 Neruda writes “En mi cielo al crepúsculo eres como una nube y tu color y forma son como yo los quiero”. This is just one example of the many Neruda uses throughout his poems. Why Neruda uses this way to describe the woman, would be a good question to ask and something I would be interested in knowing. A second thing that came up when I was reading was that most of the poems contradict each other from line to line. For example pg 31 “ Pero cae la hora de la venganza y te amo”. This might be looked as a simple line but throughout other poems he writes about this love/hate relationship between him and her. One of my favorite poems writes how she should be quiet because its like if she was never there. It makes you think a lot of what this guy really wants. Saying that the third observation I had on these poems was how this man does not really look for this woman because he truly loves her but because simply she is what fills his emptiness as a person. So is this really a story of what every man or woman wants, somebody to make them happy or somebody to quench their desire to have a person there with them. As you would notice no names were used in this whole set of poems, thus making you think how personal of a story was this and was this just a story about human nature.

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The second half of Juan Leon Meras story of Cumanda sheds light on the overall picture of how life was during the 18th century Latin America. While Mera is showing the reader this love story between an Indian girl named Cumanda and a European white male named Carlos, he is also giving the reader in insight on the different struggles that faced these two cultures during the times of exploration and settlement. For instance you witness a glimpse of how struggles between other tribes themselves were still a reality during those times. As well Mera touches on the subject of religion and how that affected the relationship Carlos and Cumanda had. Just how he wanted to make the reader understand about the complex landscape of where this story takes place, he wanted the reader to understand the different issues of these times as well, making the love story the center of all these other issues.
One of the issues that Mera touches on is about the relationship between the females in the tribe and how they are brought up by their culture. I almost fell into the trap of becoming upset with how the tribes treated the women of their group. However in reality that’s just the way life was back in the day and I think you have to be real careful to judge their culture in saying that what they did was wrong. How Mera writes the story it is very easy to feel like this, and the reader should step back after reading a chapter and truly think about what he has just read. I enjoyed the second half of this book much more than I did the first ten chapters. It was just simply a much more enjoyable read and it shed light on to new information about the different peoples living in this region at the time.

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The first ten chapters of Cumanda explore the various relationships that exist between the Indian community and the immigrated Europeans in the region of Northwest Latin America. The first chapters highlight and give prospective to who and where the author is writing about. Juan Leon Mera gives the reader great detail as to what the setting was like and how the different tribes acted with each other. The setting of where the story takes places is very will described by the author giving you specifics as to what the landscape looks like and resembles. However after giving you such a vivid description of where the story takes place, he begins to shed light on the story between the love of an Indian girl named Cumanda and Carlos a son of a fray. Their romance is like that of a story tale, where the say to each other how much they love each other in very passionate and romantic ways. The story then takes you on adventure of where Cumanda has to participate in a ritual that is done in her community. Carlos goes to observe but encounters difficulties in to how he is received between the family of Cumanda. What really caught my eye was how Mera was able to give you such an awesome sense of where you were at in the story. His ways of explaining the beauty of the setting is great, because you can actually imagine what it looks like. The beauty of where they live is also intertwined in the characters; each one has a special feel for where they live. For Cumanda it’s her love towards the palm trees. The story of Cumanda and Carlos is also interesting in showing the love between a white European and an Indian. Mera expresses their love in such a manner; you feel that nothing can stop them from loving each other.

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Para mi la relación entre la literatura y la familia es muy diferente entre las culturas diferentes. Para la cultura hispanoamericano, la relación entre la literatura y la familia es muy fuerte y siempre esta presente. La familia es un aspecto muy fuerte en la cultura Latinoamérica, y por eso es muy presente en mucho de su literatura. La familia ayuda a crear los cuentos que salen en la literatura. Las historias orales que cuenten los abuelos y las generaciones de los pasados es una parte fundamental para la fundación de la literatura y para mi punto de vista no hay mejores en contar estos cuentos que las familias hispanoamericanos. También los autores mismos tomen sus historias con sus familias y los trasforman en cuentos que pueden entender cualquier persona. Los autores les gusta contar estos historias porque para ellos la familia es una gran parte de su vida, y quieren contar todo que han aprendido con ellos. No soy un experto y no estoy diciendo que esto es verdad en todos los casos, pero a veces cuando yo leyó esto tipo de historias, yo siento este tipo de relación entre la literatura y la familia, es muy presente.
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