Yellow Woman, Political Prisoner, and Death Beyond Love

  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?

The stolen beef and Jell-O are indications of where the character is. The stolen beef is her time with Silva, where she feels that she has stepped back in time to the ancient stories of Yellow Woman. She denies being Yellow Woman because Yellow Woman came from the past; she did not know highways and pick-up trucks as the main character did. However, the entire time she is with Silva she very well could be in a different time because they ride horses, Silva hunts, and there is nothing in the cabin that indicates otherwise. The Jell-O is a stark contrast to the butchered meat, one that brings the reader to present time. Jell-O is a modern food and shows how strange an old story revived itself in a more contemporary world.

  1. After reading Saadawi’s “In Camera,’ how do you feel about Leila Al-Fargani’s father? Upon what evidence do you base your judgement?
Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal El Saadawi

I am not sure how I feel about Laila Al-Fargani’s father. I want to sympathize with him, because she obviously cares for her family and the account made by her mother even brought me to tears. Regardless, her father, though he is concerned for her, seems more concerned with how people view him and his honor. When the audience cheered for his daughter, his thoughts were not to be proud of her heroism, but a desire, a feeling that it was his right, to be acknowledged and rewarded for her achievements. Then upon hearing voices around the court saying how her honor and that of her father was trampled, he lets it get to him and actually wished for death upon both himself and his daughter. He comes across as slightly selfish as his thoughts continuously turn back to him and his troubles as opposed to the plight of his daughter.

  1. 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?

roseDeath Constant Beyond Love signifies that “it is death that awaits us beyond everything else,’ (1091). The central themes are both love and death. Spanish writer Quevedo had written “Love Constant Beyond Death’ and the idea that love is so strong that it lasts beyond death is an idea still expressed today. This concept ca be a comfort and take away fears of death. However, Marquez takes a different approach, in that nothing pervades death. You live alone and you die alone, and the Senator declares that he is an Aries, a sign of solitude. The theme of death and the inability to fight nature permeates the story. He declares in his speech that “we are here for the purpose of defeating nature’ (1092), which we know is a lie when he meets with the town officials. In the same way he tries to fight death, taking on a passionate love affair to abate his fears, but in the end his fight is futile.

3 thoughts on “Yellow Woman, Political Prisoner, and Death Beyond Love

  1. smaldonadodiaz

    I really liked the meanings you give to the stolen beef and the Jello. It never went trough my mind that it could had been different timelines for the same myth. The myths constantly are changing because of the different values acquired through different generations. Good job!

  2. geborgeson

    I agree with your answer to the second question. The way that Leila’s mother lamented for her daughter as if she was still a part of her, as if she were her bones is truly moving, and we know that her mother cares about what happens to Leila. In contrast its very easy to see that Leila’s own father is not so concerned about Leila but about his own pride, and the honor or shame she brings him. It really highlights the way woman are treated in this culture.

  3. megkwag

    Great response to question three! I like how you added “you live alone and you die alone.” It is true that nothing pervades death.

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