The inherent challenge of testimonios, their hybridity, seems to be carried ad absurdum by fictional testimonios. Kerr provides a helpful approach to the problem: she suggests using:. Thus while critics such as Kimberly Nance see the testimonio as serving to inspire its privileged reader to take action on behalf of an oppressed group, with novela testimonial it is more an appeal to reconsider social, cultural, and individual classifications — for peers and non-members alike.
In the same vein, memory is as much subjective as it is a choice. We will always be little. The only daughter, Lala, is excluded from this practice: she is not in the picture, her family simply forgot about her. As the youngest she is singled out; she is not yet part of the web woven between her relatives and friends and has not yet been introduced to the elaborate art of memory construction.
A souvenir? A memory? The young narrative voice of Caramelo is also on a search for memories in order to comprehend herself and to develop a coherent identity despite the tensions and troubles within her family and her disorientation on being a teenage Chicana. With the help of shared stories, Lala grows from a lonely child, alien to her own family, to a young woman who has come to terms with her familiar, cultural and sexual existence.
As the initial episode with the photograph already points out, the feeling of homelessness and exclusion is especially strong for the youngest. While Inocencio is eager to get back to his native city, Lala anticipates the summer trip with insecurity and nervousness. The girl is intimidated by her grandmother and the alien culture, values, norms and language she stands for.
We say in the horrible language, which the Awful Grandmother hears as Guat? We repeat to each other and to her.
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The Awful Grandmother shakes her head and mutters, — My daughters-in-law have given birth to a generation of monkeys. Caramelo Reading Soledad as an archetypal Mother in C.
While Mother can be a symbol of life, birth, protection, nourishment and growth it can also signify death, destruction, suffocation and inhibition Jung, Die Archetypen The concept is ambiguous and yet coherent, unifying seemingly mutually exclusive features. She was damn dangerous, an ideal so lofty and unrealistic it was laughable.
La Lupe as cabrona. Not silent and passive, but silently gathering force. Goddess of the Americas Symbole der Wandlung In other words, as long as Lala is caught in her feelings of homelessness and exclusion and haunted by her private fears embodied by the Awful Grandmother, an accommodation in her homeland culture is impossible. For Lala it is difficult to distinguish episodes she experienced herself and anecdotes told so often among her family members that she believes herself to have witnessed them.
Following the narrative pattern of knotted thoughts and events, several other stories are tied to the central action. Sheltered in personal and cultural memory, the rebozo is introduced as the epitome of memory, unique and intrinsically related to others at the same time.
I thought you were telling my story? Once more, memory is shown as manipulable and constructable with Lala narrating the story of Soledad as a poor and lonely girl from a dynasty of reboceros who only got married to Narciso because she was pregnant and Soledad desperately trying to rescue the dreamt up images of a loving relationship: her makeshift memories:.
At least something to remind people Narciso and I loved each other. She hurried back towards the path. The wood became thicker and thicker. A yellow butterfly flew down through the trees. And she chased the butterfly through the trees. Luego ella vio unas grandes margaritas en el pasto. Then she saw some large daisies in the grass. Meanwhile, two menacing eyes watched her from behind a tree. A strange noise in the woods made Little Red Riding Hood jump with fright, and her heart started to thump.
Little Red Riding Hood ran and ran, and finally found the path. But as soon as she started to relax she heard another strange noise behind her Why are you walking in the forest all alone?
Where are you going? Maybe we'll meet again! The wolf arrived at the end of the path, where the little house stood. Caperucita Roja. She didn't notice anything strange. Poor Grandma! In less than two seconds the wolf had jumped across the room and swallowed the old lady. Then, the wolf put on grandma's dress and hat, and slid into the bed. Additionally, the English text is sprinkled with Spanish words that are explained in context, adding to the opportunities for English-speaking children to learn the other language.
The book does not shy away from using the loaded words mojado and gringo. Rather than glossing over the discriminations and prejudices that are a harsh reality for many children, she chooses to use terms that, sadly, are very familiar to certain parts of her young audience.
The use of gringo could facilitate a similar discussion, but its use is not as complex or inoffensive.