New world, New Identity

One seeks for a better life when what’s needed is not obtainable. It’s the human instinct to try to survive the world we live today.

In many countries, there’s many people who wish to live in the United States. Why? Because they think that the American life is the perfect life; but then, what is the American life? In the book Signs Preceding The End Of The World, Yuri Herrera talks about a young girl, Makina who is sent by her mother Cora to find her brother across the US border. Her brother, crossed the border illegally to claim a land her (lost) father allegedly left them. The problem is, once he crossed, he never returned as planned. Makina, a brave young girl packs for her trip only what’s needed for a couple days, planning to return back to her home as soon as she found him. But did she really know it would be tough?

Makina had it tough. She went through a lot, but didn’t give up until she was in anglo land. I think Herrera makes a great job in describing how much power and determination one can have to be able to obtain what its wanted. Makina went through many dangerous situations in where in real life, not any mother will put her child through that situation. One dangerous situation that she encounter was when was in the bus ready to start her journey when a man sat next to her and “accidentally” brushed her thigh, “Makina turned to him, stared into his eyes so he’d know that her next move was no accident, pressed a finger to her lips, shhhh, eh, and with the other hand yanked the middle finger of the hand he’d touched her with almost all the way back to an inch from the top of his wrist; it took her one second” (31). This is clearly a great example of her strength and her ability to protect herself. She stands for what she believes in and won’t put up with anything that goes against her identity.

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Another great point Herrera makes is the transition of a world in which not much dreams become reality to a world in which there’s more hope and dreams, “Suddenly the world turned cold and green and filled with invisible water monsters dragging her away from the rubber raft; she tried to swim, kicking at whatever was holding her but couldn’t figure out which side was up or where Chucho had gone” (39). Chucho, the man who helped her cross to the “other” land, is the only support she had for that exact timeline. The transition from leaving behind her land for a new one and she being completely dependent on Chucho all at once must have been terrifying for Makina. Even then, she was brave and tried to get through it and she did.


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