Nothing is certain, except death.


From the time we are born, nothing in our lives will ever be certain. Except “death and taxes”, of course. Everything is constantly changing. We go through obstacles in life and times that it may be difficult to see and end. However, we also go through times where we feel invincible, but the sad and also beautiful part is that these times never last forever.

In the novel Signs Preceding The End of The World, by Yuri Herrera uncertainty is continuously exhibited. From the very beginning, we, as the readers are greeted to the novel with something so random and so unpredictable. This opening scene is filled with panic from the natural disaster that occurs right in front of the main character’s eyes, Makina.

As the novel progresses, it becomes more clear that nothing is really clear. Uncertainty is common. She’s uneasy about the adventure her mother sends her on to find her brother. Her mission; to cross the border and find her brother. Throughout all her mini adventures within this big one, she faces many setbacks and challenges. Anywhere is goes, she has no idea what to expect and the some of the craziest things happen to her. She gets in contact with big thugs, is in the middle of a shooting, witnesses a death carcass when at first glance she thinks it’s a woman with a pregnant belly but as she moves closer she is able to see that it’s not at all what she thought it was. on page, 326 of the Kindle version, it says, “as they approached she discerned the features of this person, who was no woman, nor was that belly full with child: it was some poor wretch swollen with putrefaction” This was signifying moving into the “unknown”. In the beginning, it is evident that Makina is a badass and is tough, however, this mission is still scary for her because it’s uncertainty and unpredictable nature. She had no idea all the things she would encounter in the beginning.

Not even family, is promised. Makina’s own brother, whom she set out in search for and went through the unthinkable for still betrays her. She even starts to see it the change of tone in his notes and how he becomes less and less like his old self. In other words, a death of his old self. Makina starts to come to the realization that nothing is constant. Borders are every where and these are the only things that create separation.


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