Makina in the opening of our book says “I am dead.” But what does it mean to be dead? Does our heart stop beating or our brain no longer functions. Or does the body she finds count as dead. Until the only thing that is left is a corpse un-named. I get a sense that what she means by death is a transition period. One that goes from one body to a next. To experience something that is completely unfamiliar to her.
I am sure there are examples of literal death, but i get the feeling that’s not the case. That she is seperate from the living world. When I read of her crossing to the other side I am reminded of Pirates of the Carribean at world’s end. The place Jack Sparrow is sent to spend eternity. Nothing but sand for miles, and rock like crabs only to be pulled back from that sad fate in Davey Jones locker. In this case Makina is pulled back by Chuco, and the dead body. In many ways like Jack she is alone. She is sent to the United States for her brother, and forced to fend for herself. Which she does very well. Striving to be strong, and survive she suprises all maybe even herself. She like being dead enters a different state of being.
Much like when hardly recognizes her brother at one point. A changed man. In the book Yuri Herrera writes, “She stopped breathing for a second, placed the fingertips of one hand on the desk as to not lose her balance and reached out the other to the apparition that was this man as not she asked to see.” (Herrera 84) If we were to treat her journey as dead walking in the same world as the living. Then I am dead makes sense. She is identifying herself as spirits like the apparition that is her brother.
Looking in and commenting on the other world. There is much symbolism and spirituality in this book. One of the reasons why we think of this is as en epic story is because Hererra uses the phrase “I am dead” it means the epic was left untold and unfinished. The past represented as a spiritual travel speaking through the character Makina and to us the reader.