1. In Silko’s “Yellow Woman,’ what do the stolen beef and the Jell-o have in common? How do these elements break the prevailing mood?
I always dislike stories and movies about cheating, it makes me cringe! This entire story seemed like a dream. The Pueblo Indian woman has eloped with a Navajo, yet she wants to leave, but she “can’t”. She thinks that she is actually living out old myths of the Yellow Woman and that he is the ka’tsina spirit. The beef and the Jell-o, as others have mentioned, I think too brings about a certain reality to the entire story. It seems almost like a fairy tale, you aren’t sure if she is actually the Yellow Woman, or if it is her imagination, but the random beef and Jell-o kind of wake you up in a way?
2. After reading Saadawi’s “In Camera,’ how do you feel about Leila Al-Fargani’s father? Upon what evidence do you base your judgement?
I would say that Leila’s father is humiliated. He is watching his daughter being tried for speaking her mind, and he had always told her that woman should stay clear of politics. I feel as if he is feeling like a failure at raising her as the culture does. Woman usually go with the flow, so having his daughter speak her mind?? Goodness! I don’t necessarily dislike him, if you think about it, you could compare to dads today by calling them “old school”. He was born and raised a certain way, and having his daughter stray from the norm I think it is sad and humiliating for him. He even felt as if death would be better for her than going through with a trial and public ridicule.
3. What is the importance of the title of the story “Death Constant Beyond Love’? What does it tell us about the stories central thematic concerns?
I think that the title of this story is saying that death is inevitable. No matter you situation in life; lonely, terminal illness, death will find you. I think that the central concern in this story is that the Senator is dying, and Nelson Farina wants a fake passport. The senator cheats on his wife, and Farina basically sold his daughter for a fake passport. It seems that both were looking for a way out, and it outweighed love.
That was an interesting thought that the jell-o was a wake up call or tie to reality, but I do not see how that is something in common with the beef. I saw these foods as items taken out of the theme of the story as they are questioning and representing spirits of their lore, while tied to tradition and basic needs, they then steal cattle, which are not naturally hunted from the land and jell-o… well jell-o is just a processed powder.
I did enjoy your point of view on Leila’s father and her story. Very good points, especially about their place in society and the expectations that people are raised with. I think I was a bit more disappointed in his desire to claim for credit in the view the crowd was taking of his daughter, while not really caring as much for the outcome of her trial.
Oh my! I so agree on the Yellow Women story. Even if she was trying to think of herself as yellow women in order to cope being abducted by a random man, she willingly cheats on her husband! She even thinks of the man afterward and wants to be with him again! So odd.
See and after I read everyone’s responses I become even a little bit more confused with how to take the Yellow Woman story. At first I was like , she was looking for excitement so she found him…told him about the story and willingly went with him. But then when she tried to leave he made her stay with him? Kind of like in the actual story with the exception being the stolen meat and the jello. This story was just crazy to me. I feel like the representation of two foods we know are unnatural but why ? That answer can be given in so many ways.
I tend to think of the food as more symbolic of the time she is in. While cattle were not a native food as were buffalo in the early days many Native Americans rustled cattle to keep their families alive after the whites had decimated the buffalo. This was a more lawless time and the Native’s lived a more traditional live. The jello is a pure modern day food. It is more telling of how she lives now.
I like your view on the second question. I found it very selfish and arrogant for the dad to be so set in his own ways that he made his daughter stray away from the norm just to please him. She went through a lot of awkward situation because of him.
I like that in the second question you acknowledged the different societal norms, and that the father was a product of “old school” teachings. I also enjoyed your interpretation of the “Yellow Women” question, great post this week.