Is it that we really don’t know what is happening around the world? What is happening around us? Around humanity? or do we just decide to ignore it because we are too busy to even care about what is going on around us? Throughout my journey in Literary Genres in Translation course has really help me not only grow as a writer and at analyzing novels at a greater degree, but to realize how much things we actually know, but we never think of.
The novel Utopia was about a corrupted life environment in where we can see the difference between the wealthy and the poor. We can see how teenagers slowly destroy themselves due to boredom abusing the freedom they have by consuming drugs, having sex, and by not having respect to others. The novel Signs Preceding the End of the World was about a young teenage girl who is sent to the United States to find her brother, but throughout the journey she losses her identity. She encounters many difficult situations, risking her safety. The novel Tram 83 is about a forgotten place in where people have no future and struggle to survive in such corrupted city. People lose hope into having a better life. Poor women are illustrated as sex partners in where they’ll do anything to obtain money using the phrase, “do you have the time?” (104). Finally, the novel Baho! Is about how due to miscommunication, someone’s life can potentially be ruined. It illustrates how justice can mean many things to many people. It shows how even the weakest community in comparison to other countries, can be very powerful and bring justice themselves, but the real question is, what it means to be fair justice?
Utopia: “When drugs are available all the time, you lose any pleasure in them. They become boring and vulgar” (8).
“In Utopia, where death retreats behind wires and becomes nothing but a game that adolescents dream of…” (6).
“The problem is all of it. I have everything” (18).
What these novels have in common is that each author wrote about something that is really happening in real life, but we don’t think about. Our youth today is obviously not the same as before. We have little girls dressing like women and doing things that shouldn’t be considered appropriate. We are having children getting pregnant and having children themselves. We also have the severe consumption of drugs within the younger population (as well as the adults). Also, people stealing from each other, hating each other secretly, etc. all these are examples of how bad we as people are getting and instead of making things better, we are making things worst.
Signs Preceding the End of the World: “He stopped and reflected for a minute. I guess that’s what happens to everybody who comes, he continued. We forget what we came for, but there’s this reflex to act like we still have some secret plan” (93).
“There she was, with another name, another birthplace. Her photo, new numbers, new trade, new home. I’ve been skinned, she whispered” (106).
Many people travel to the United States to find a better life, and those who don’t but migrate just for a task or just work still change somehow. Is that considered losing your identity? But then again, what is identity? One chooses who they want to be, but most of the times we become who we are due to life struggles, experiences, confrontations in where we’re forced to do thing that forces us to change our persona. Economic factors will always be one of the top ones as well as safety reasons. It all goes back to the lack of money or them not feeling safe in the country they live in. Some may argue that in people stand up for what they believe in, stay what’s on their mind, whether it be politically or a personal conflict, communication is the key, but then again communicated can always be misinterpreted, therefore it can eventually cause more harm and problems.
Tram: “I wonder how they get by. The crisis lingers. They complain but end up drinking, playing poker, laughing, signing, vaunting their silicone breasts, scolding the second-rate tourists despite the latter’s animosity. Does a more dressed-up poverty exist, or is poverty a supreme joy in disguise?” (169).
Baho!: “Because, for these people, the one who runs is assumed guilty of one thing or another” (3).
“Hunger did not scare them” (3).
“The young girl is in shock. Shivering, her body no longer belongs to herself (23).
“Life is a series of meals that we must learn to savor in the face of expired condiments and second-hand ingredients. Sometimes we appreciate them. Often we do not. Above all, it is about not starving to death” (35).
In conclusion, these authors write parallels from current world events and how they incorporate them into their books creating beautiful stories. I really love how I was able to connect with each novel, helping me understand and view life differently. The novels helped me realize that it’s not only about what we are going through right now, but about what might happen later on in the future and what is going on in other countries as well.