- 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 believe this story is about the conflict between identity created by the traditional values exerted by myth, and identity created by reality and human nature. I think that is what the stolen beef and the Jell-o symbolizes, that this man stole her identity. Throughout the story, she has conflicting identity. First she said she is not really Yellow Woman, that she is from a town and has a name. However, she wanted to be her because she let a man, that called her Yellow Woman and claimed he is the spirit of the myth, seduced her. After seeing the reality, she goes back to her village, but stayed wondering about him, almost missing him. It is a symbolic story that presents the conflict between identity, social role, traditional values, myth, reality and human nature.
- 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 feel Leila’s father was a person that lived his life being a slave of the social roles imposed by the traditional beliefs of his culture. One minute he is almost crying because he felt proud of his daughter for standing up for herself and for others, while everyone is clapping, considering she is a heroine. Then, in the next minute he felt ashamed because according to his traditional beliefs, he was dishonored when she was tortured. He even considered: “Death was preferable for him and for her now.’ This story represents how the traditional beliefs and values of this culture influenced extremely the behavior of men and how easy they are convinced by them.
- 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?
The central concerns in this story is about the fake life that the senator was living. Everything in his life was an illusion, including everything he offered, because all were lies. Even the town name “Rosal del Virrey’ was a joke because the only rose present was worn by the senator. The irony of the story, relays when he thought that Laura Farina came to be with him for love. It turn out to be a trick by her father, who made her wear a chastity belt, to make the senator promise to solve the father’s problems if he wanted the key. At the end he got what he gave to others, a merely illusion of love. It also brings the ironic question of: how much really having power can give you? This senator had power, but had no real life. The only thing real in his life, was that for certain he was going to die.