★Losing ones identity’s through borders


Signs preceding the end of the world is another great book that I’m currently reading. The story is about a woman (girl?) who ventures out to cross the border to find her brother who did the same thing, but to find land that was said belonged to their family. So Makina, our main character, sets off to find her brother, and what she ends up finding is not what she thought.

There are several themes we see across her journey to find her brother. The crossing of borders, losing one’s identity and expectations versus reality among other things.

Makina has to cross the border in order to find her brother and has these expectations of what the other side looks like, that when she gets there those expectations are destroyed. For example, she goes into a supermarket and she sees the “anglogaggle at the self-checkouts…she noticed how miserable they looked in front of those little digital screes…” (57). One of the most devastating expectations she finds, is when she finds her brother but he is a completely different person, almost a stranger she didn’t recognize. Here we see a sense of lost identity from her brother and maybe even from Makina. Her brother also mentions that “it’s not like the movies” (57), further destroying those expectations.

He goes on to say “that’s what happens to everybody who comes…[they] forget what [they] came for, but there’s this reflex to act like [they] still have some secret plan” (93). This can easily be seen when some individuals cross the border from Mexico to the U.S., in hopes to better the lives of their loved ones. their intentions are good but they up straying from their path, and end up in the wrong path. Usually, the family members never hear or see them again. It is easy for someone to forget who they are and they are doing, specially when large sums of money are presented. Makina’s brother takes a special job in order to have money, but ends up completely changing him. To the point he wants to stay behind, and see it all through.

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