Federicos Ghost Book Review Examples

Published: 2021-06-22 00:30:07
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Category: Family, Women, Life

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Federico’s Ghost by Martin Espada is an intriguing poem of advocacy which attempts to give a voice to those who do not have a chance to speak and who are alone in the world. This suggests an intertwining of aesthetics and politics especially in this poem which refers to the ghost of a child who appears to help those which are currently oppressed.
The poem deals with the story of a young boy who is called Federico and who works tilling the land in tomato fields, back breaking work for almost no pay in a desperately poor family who do not have enough to eat. It is an indictment of the forced labour camp system where children have to work until they drop to support their family and there is absolutely no other option but to continue this miserable existence into the next generations.
However Espada recounts how Federico managed to rise above all this misery and revolted against the crop dusters eventually getting himself killed as a martyr to the cause. Although initially no one took much notice of his plight and fate, he was remembered by an old woman who brought his story forward and he became a sort of icon for those who were suffering.
In a sense, Espada’s poem turns the tragic story into a full circle as it shows that Federico’s sacrifice was not something which was in vain. He definitely managed to create awareness on the story of the fruit pickers who ended up miserable and half-starved and their cause was one which was not forgotten but was just. Espada’s poetry is extremely powerful in this sense. I found the poem extremely powerful and full of alliterations which in their directionism are very poignant and convincing although some questions remained unaddressed.
Terminal by Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer extremely poignant short story Terminal focuses on a simple story where a woman goes to the doctor and discovers she has a terminal disease although she does not want to accept that. The reaction of the woman and her husband is to live their lives in a sort of bubble without any cares for the outside world. They continue with their lives as if nothing is going to happen and the woman will be cured and healed without any negative consequences. I personally found the author to provide quite an intriguing point of contact with the illness in question as well as the personal thoughts involved in such a dilemma.
It is a beautiful short story in this respect as it shows that love can really be turned into a terminal illness if this is not treated properly. In fact the woman does not want to accept what is happening to her but eventually she decides to take hr own life and this is quite similar to the other stories under discussion here. It is a short but powerful story with a lot going for it. Certainly the prose is powerful and makes one empathise completely with what is going on in a woman’s mind when she is diagnosed with some terrible illness.
In fact the word terminal is instructive here as it focuses on the way people reflect on such situations erupting in one’s life. This may also mean that doctors and medics are of an insensitive nature as described in this story where they gain the epithet of ‘their face full of doom’.
Spanish Roulette by Ed Vega
This is a fine short story which examines the complexity of relationships between man and woman. Although there is also the story of a gang rape which is rather crude and without much meaning, the story principally deals with the erotic relationship between a man and a woman and how men compete for the woman’s affection. Here the woman is actually nothing more than a sex object and the relationship between gang’s is also examined accordingly.
The local gang member whose name is Sixto shows a certain amount of intrinsic defiance as he goes to avenge himself of his sister who was raped by members of another rival gang. He is a powerful and angry personality full of homo erotic feelings and these also form an important part of the story. In fact one has to accept the fact that violence will always triumph over reason even if the latter is the more sensible course to take. We observe the relationship between other members of the gang who are consistently at loggerheads with others and who attempt to create a surreal situation for themselves which is always part and parcel of gang life.
However Vega also examines the sexual proclivity of these men who inhabit a world of lustful violence which can only end up in having unprotected sex and the continual raping of young women. The story is also a powerful indictment of the gang system which is perhaps very much prevalent in countries like Mexico for example. Vega certainly hits to the heart of the matter with Spanish Roulette which demonstrates the tough choices made by these gangs and their fierce sense of protectiveness over their siblings.
I found the story to be slightly crude in its construction and language although it also contained some poignant and beautiful moments in this respect.
The Birth Mark
In this intriguing short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne we examine the theme of obsession with human perfection. Here a scientist by the name of Aymler marries a beautiful woman called Georgiana initially for love but as time develops he becomes ever more obsessed with her beauty and perfection and proceeds to experiment on her. Initially she does not notice that this is the case and feebly gives in to his demands which are extremely subtle in any case.
The story thus examines man’s obsession with beauty and perfection and how this may be retained at all costs. Science is also consistently obsessed with creating a situation where man can continue living forever and perhaps this is the intrinsic scope of Hawthorne’s story. However the man’s obsession with the birth mark eventually is destructive as it leads the woman to her death as her life was actually completely intertwined with her birth mark.
In fact Aymler’s obsession with the birthmark on his wife’s cheek also demonstrates a certain amount of insensitivity on his part to her physical beauty which is also of an erotic nature. He becomes obsessed with the birthmark and even has a dream where this is forcibly removed. However after several experiments, he manages to concoct a potion which will actually remove the birthmark but as mentioned this leads to his wife’s death. It is a sad story which teaches us that obsession never pays and that one should accept things as they are at the end of the day without much qualms.
Hawthorne’s prose is direct and immediate as well as being full of life and I warmed to the story immediately, it leaving a profound effect on me.
Works Cited:
Wineapple, Brenda. "Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804-1864: A Brief Biography", A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Larry J. Reynolds, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. p. 26. ISBN 0195124146
Miller, Edwin Haviland. Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991: 250. ISBN 0877453322
James M, Merickel P: Reading Literature and Writing ArgumentFourth Edition, New York, Prentice Hall 2007, Print
Cull R: On Federico’s Ghost: Retrieved from: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/espada/federico.htm ; 2001

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