Category Archives: Week 14

Devi; Marquez; Saadawi; Silko

1. What I got out of the story is that both the Jell-O and the beef represent time in the story. When she gets home the Jello-O comes into the story and is talked about in and is meant to be more in the present of times rather than the beef. The beef was meant to represent the past when the tales of the past were being told. Both of the foods are symbols that were mentioned to represent something more than just food.

2. To be honest, I did not like him as a character in this story and surely would not want to have him as my father. There were multiple times in the story where he would not stand behind what he would say and also was not fully there for his daughter. He was a hypocrite and a pitiful person. The way he would change his actions towards her depending on what kind of thing she did was the determining factor on how he felt about her.

3.  The importance of the title  “Death Constant Beyond Love’ is that death is going to happen no matter what to a person. So when a person is in love or loves someone else, death will happen. The senator is told that he only has a certain time left to live which then he falls in love with a younger women. This right here represents the title that even though he fell in love, it cannot out due the fact that he is going to die.

Devi, Marquez, Saadawi, and Silko

1. The stolen beef seems to be an allusion to when the immigrants came to North America and took away the land and culture of the previous inhabitants. The way it is described is very gruesome, with images of blood and cut up pieces. The Jell-O is the modern lifestyle with a new culture that deviates from the long-standing traditions that were held. Because the grandmother had to be taught how to make Jell-O by a younger generation, shows the newness of the concept.

2. I feel like the father was inadvertently participating in the politics of the court. Because he went along with what everyone else was doing and reacted in the way that was expected when hearing of his daughter’s torture, he is  showing his acceptance of the system that he is surrounded by. He has become ineffectual, as Leila’s mother said men who participate in politics are.

3. The title  “Death Constant Beyond Love” tells the reader that the main themes are that of death and love and the imminence of one no matter what one finds during life. An important theme was the uncertainty of finding and/or maintaining love. Love is portrayed as fluid and hard to attain and keep old of, as seen by the senator leaving his wife and the widow on the roof losing her husband to another woman.  And then when the Senator tells Laura Farina that they are destined for solitude, it shows the difficulty for some to find love. All of this is displayed on the backdrop of imminent death. Everyone will eventually succumb to death, and for some it is sooner than for others.

DQ 14

1. The stolen beef and the jello have nothing in common. I the Yellow Woman the beef is used a a device to drive the plot of the story and leads to a death. While in contrast the jello is a background device that is used as part of an imagined scene of the main characters family. Each of these foods is used in the story but how they are used is so different that beyond them both being sources of food they have no other links.

2. Lelia’s father is someone who is stunned by what happened to his daughter but instead of trying to take any sort of action that could lead to a positive result he just shuts down. This paints him as a pathetic character. Giving the central character nothing more than a further method of tearing herself down after her rape.

3. The title Death Constant Beyond Love is basically a foreshadowing device that gives away the ending of the story. While at the same time it also describes the rest of the story showing that its going to be about love. So basically you can get the entire message that the author is telling just by glancing at the title.

Discussion 14

The beef and jell-o in the story  both serve as  a reminder of culture and reality. Silva’s surreal hold on the Yellow Woman is broken when they are caught with the stolen beef. He becomes less a spirit and more of a person when she sees this and even starts to think of him as a vagabond Navajo.  The jell-o also serves as a reminder of what her current culture really is, and makes her miss her traditional culture.

While reading “in Camera” I was infuriated with the Father. The hypocrisy that she shows in this culture is tremendous. First the Father praises Leila’s  heroism as the crowd cheers for her accusation of the king, but is quickly reminded of the “shame” she has brought him and is soon cursing her. It shows how her Father doesn’t truly feel for his daughter, only what shame or honor she may bring him.

The title quickly introduces us to the theme of the story.  It serves to tell us how that when we face death it changes us. The senator who had a loving family and wife easily succumbs to temptation when faced with his own mortality.

Jell-o, Honor, and Mortality: the Important Themes of Our Time


The beef and the jello are both consumables that represent pre- v post-industrialization, nature v technology, and the past v the present. Something as visceral as carrying and eating meat was used as a way of expressing the character’s state of being emotionally and also her position in the world while she was running. Back at home, at the end, the clean, bright, and clinical non-food that is jello represented where she ended up at the conclusion.


My overall impression of Leila’s father is not a good one, and I don’t believe I’m supposed to come away with a positive opinion of his actions. His character, however, is never directly attacked. He is not demonized. Most of his actions are explainable by societal norms. I don’t like using the word “patriarchy” because it’s so overused and polarizing. But as I read this and Tartuffe, I felt that Orgon and he both showed strong evidence of being decent human beings wrapped up in a certain way of looking at the world and acting. Leila does not seem to judge her father for acting the way that she did, but she does report that he put his honor above both of their lives, particularly in court. This makes him understandable, maybe even sympathetic, but not a person I would want to depend on to treat people ethically.


The Senator represents every person facing their own mortality. His act of falling in love with a younger woman and finding love only when he’s closest to death represents humanity’s obsession with remaining young and dwelling on youth. He is most alive and most deeply in love when he’s aware of his impending mortality. “Death Constant Beyond Love” reminds us that whether we’re in love, whether we acknowledge death’s inevitability, death will always be there. It is our choice whether or not to love before death takes us. The Senator’s life is improved with the love, yet he still dies. This is the happiest ending any story can have because it is the essence of humanity’s search for happiness and love.

Devi; Marquez; Saadawi; Silko


  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 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.

  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?


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.


  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?


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.

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.

Discussion 14

  1. In this story the common element that the stolen beef and jell-o share is that they are a symbol for time periods. The jell-o is a symbol of the present. In the story it says, “My mother was telling my grandmother how to fix the jell-o’ (1211). The fact that her mother is having to teach her grandmother how to make the jell-o and not the other way around is what hints at the  jell-o being a symbol for the present. The stolen meat also represents a time period however, instead of representing the present it represents the past. Meat has been around for many centuries and like in many stories including this one it represents the time when times were much simpler.
  2. I feel like her father is a coward and is humiliated. He chooses in several different instances to not stick up and/or speak up for his daughter. I think as a father even if your child makes a mistake or you don’t agree with what they are doing you should attempt to protect them. In the story her dad originally sticks up for her but then he stops because he starts to realize that he could be ridiculed. If he wasn’t a coward he would have kept standing up for her and protected her from getting beat and raped.
  3. The title “Death Constant Beyond Love is important because it is saying that death is inevitable and although people say that love concurs all, it in fact can not concur death. In the story the Senator is only given approximately 6 months to live, soon after he falls in love with a young woman. Although his love for her is able to make him somewhat forget about his death that will be coming soon, he can’t escape thinking about dying.

Devi; Marquez; Saadawi; Silko

  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?
    While reading “Yellow Woman’, I had to read it a few times to figure out what was trying to be thrown at us with the stolen beef and the jell-o. The stolen beef came in the beginning of the story. Yellow Woman is trying to find her place in all of these tales that she is being told. While running into a rancher on the mountain, the stolen meat comes into play! I thought that this showed enthusiasm because the story mentions how the meat claps against her legs. This made me think of the clapping of hands and how you clap when something exciting happens. The Jell-O comes into the story when she returns home. It’s almost like the Jell-O is signifying the present. When the story talked about the stolen beef, she was being told tales of the past. Both of these elements were almost like turning points in the story, from past to present.

    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?
    Leila was not on trial for committing a crime, she was there because she voiced her opinion and called the President stupid. In her culture, women are supposed to keep quiet about certain topics, politics being one of them. During the trial, her father supported her, even though he wished that she would not have opened her mouth. He was suffering from his daughter’s actions. He said that if she had been a male, she would not be on trial. This showed me that her father was a great one! He didn’t abandon his daughter, even when she made a mistake. He would never turn his back on her.


  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?
    In this story, a senator is running for reelection and finds out that he has a terminal illness. He was only given six months and eleven days to live. However, he fell in love with an eighteen-year old girl named Laura. Laura seems to cure his loneliness and takes his mind off of his upcoming death. I believe that this is simply saying that death is the true ruler of everything. No matter how love he has for Laura, it won’t make his time on Earth last any longer.


14 – The Yellow Woman, Speaking Out for a Price, and Death

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?

Laguna Skyline.Norma Bassett Hall.1931

A Laguna Pueblo skyline, painted in 1931 by Norma Bassett Hall. Anyone who has dwelt for a brief moment in New Mexico has seen such sights.

To be honest, the jello slipped my attention.   But then again I guess it didn’t.   The image of looking through the screen door and the jell-o discussion she encounters reminded me (along with the whole Southwestern feel) of hot summer days and the only slight relief from the day’s heat found in entering a house.   I guess it brought the story back around to familiar things.   The meat was also a tie to reality.   If Silva was simply a mountain spirit, why the rifle?   Why the stolen meat?   Why the fight with the white cowboy?   Was this really her imagination taking hold while she hung out with a mountain dweller/cattle rustler? Like all of the stories in this section, there were disjointed parts that I found hard to track and understand.

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?

"What did I say?...You said what you shouldn't have said! ..But I was supposed to say that...Yes, but you should not have said it..Don't be stupid!"  Photo of Middle Eastern Politicians in the 1950's.

“What did I say?…You said what you shouldn’t have said! ..But I was supposed to say that…Yes, but you should not have said it..Don’t be stupid!” Photo of Middle Eastern Politicians in the 1950’s.

How do I feel?   I’m grateful to have lived in America.   That’s how I feel reading these stories.   Leila’s father is a product of his world, as I am of mine.   In pointing out the plight of women in the man-oriented world, Saadawi and especially Devi also illuminate the miserable existence of men who are trapped between what their hearts speak of as honorable and valid and how they find themselves in reality.   Leila’s father is such a man.   You can see by the way he thinks to himself that he should really stand up and take credit for being her father, that this is what “men like us” wait for their whole lives.   The sad thing is although it is mentioned that he has suffered “pain and torture with her”, his deepest grief is for his own honor.   He cannot breathe as a man, hold his head up, in spite of her achievement in the court room because she is defiled.   He wanted to stand up and take in some reward, but all that is set aside as he covers his ears, he cannot bear to hear what the people are saying.   He cannot know, that her own values are rested even deeper than her womanly virtue, but in her right to speak out.   This is beyond his understanding, like Mr. Haldar, living in a mind formed in the time of the British Raj, he cannot comprehend such ideas.

How do I feel..Part of me wants to kick such weak men to the curb.   But the realist in me knows that I have not walked in his shoes.   I dislike cultures that turn their backs on those who are dealt brutal fates.   But in our culture we make excuses for those who bring sad fate’s unto themselves and those they love, making hardship for everyone.   Which is more humane?

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?


Emilio Zapata, the great rebel leader, who in spite of charisma, being well liked, and generally a powerful man, died anyway. He and his contemporary and sometime partner Pancho Villa, both ruthless men, died the way they lived. Death comes to us all.

Death is the constant in all things.   All of creation, on earth and in the Universe pass away.   So though I am not sure of the political intention of Marquez’ writing, (other than to highlight corrupt political office) it is clear that in spite of whatever power a man possesses, or whatever passion he bends to his will, death will still find him.   I wasn’t all that impressed with this story.   I didn’t find it earth shaking or particularly enthralling.   If the point of the story was that death is constant, then it did not have much time to make any other points before the primary one won out.     You meet the senator, he does his little show, walks through town, meets Laura and dies.   That’s it.   Death is the winner.   It did have the feel of a seedy Mexican town along the western coastline, like something out of a Clint Eastwood movie.   The story also reminded me of the Poncho Villa and Zapata era, when revolution swept the countryside.   Turmoil and death were frequent as blood thirsty “leadership” replaced one corrupt politician with another.   We American’s sometimes have a difficult time understanding that corruption is the way of the world.   We go here and there, crusading to rid the earth of corruption, while our own politicians sit back chuckling to themselves.   The world doesn’t understand us or our effort to   be free of corruption.   We are an “anomaly”..