Struggling to stay Afloat


“Suddenly the world turned cold and green and filled with invisible water monsters dragging her away from the rubber raft:..” page 39


I believe there is a different meaning then what is written in the book in regards to the quote above. The image of Makina being tossed from the raft and struggling to get across the river foreshadows the obstacles that she will encounter on her journey through the United States. This takes place when she is not even in the new country, and she is already struggling on her journey. It is also one of the first times that she does not seem to have control of her situation. It is an unusual situation to find herself in through the first couple chapters of the book but something we see a lot of later in the book.

Since the Rio Grande is the border between the two nations, it is the first time you see the “psychological boarder” fighting her. It almost seems that mother nature is fighting her to stay where she is. Makina is so strong willed that she doesn’t let that happen and even says “that in the end she’d wind up where she needed to be”. Crossing the border into the United States is, up until I read the book, was crossing the border. My whole perspective now is that it is one of many challenges that immigrants face when coming to a new country.

This imagine of Makina and the river has stuck with me through the whole story. It paints such a clear picture in my mind of the struggle she is willing to go through to find her brother. She literally puts her life on the line to find him. She goes on this journey with no guarantee that she will actually find him. It was at this point in the book that I saw her become who she was supposed to be, a strong and determined individual.


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