Coming to an End

Coming to an end of a semester, I have come crossed many novels from different backgrounds, genres, and cultures. Tram 83, Utopia, and Signs Preceding the Ends of the World and Baho all showed light upon their issues and I was exposed to a new culture within each novel.
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One of my favorite novels that caught my attention from beginning to end was Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera. It was a controversial topic on borders between the Mexico and U.S and the journey of the main character Makina. This novel made me feel emotions and compassion towards the whole situation of having borders and the struggle those people face trying to come over to the U.S for a better lifestyle.
This novel brought light to the issues of border and how it might limit opportunity and the risks people take and the readers are also able to relate it back to our own society.
This course made me read novels I normally wouldn’t pick. I tend to stick with novels or authors that I know or heard about but this course had a selection of African and Mexican literature. It showed me to not judge a book by its cover. Take a risk and pick up a new book and see how it is.
We should be educated on many different novels, genres, and cultures. The more we read the more knowledge and power we have.
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Bad Beginnings

 

Baho is a captivating novel, it starts off with Nyamuragi who is mute and he tried to ask a young girl directions to the bathroom, however not being able to speak he is misunderstood and it accused of wanting to rape the young girl. This novel goes into concepts of miscommunication and rape and how much trouble one can get if the words aren’t said and fail to communicate their intentions.

 

Miscommunication, once again Nyamuragi ran off and flee the scene which caused him to look guilty. “…the one who runs is assumed guilty of one thing or another” (3). If one does not communicate they will be blamed how ever Nyamuragi ran because of fear and the community quickly blamed him due to the mens views towards women and believed it was a rape action.

414BS3QSsBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Within the community, mothers fear for their daughters as rape has become a common thing and their lives are at risk. “For two months, the obsessive fear of rape has haunted this country’s women. Mothers make their little girls wear panties under their wraps when they go draw water and under their skirts when they go to school, when before they did not. Girls are required to go everywhere in groups” (15) Girls are viewed as an object and not valued.

In the novel and in our society, we can see how miscommunication can lead to a big mess and how rape stories are bringing more awareness to the issue. Unknown

A day in Tram 83

Tram 83 is written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila and the two main character are Requiem and Lucien. Tram 83 is a nightclub where everyone comes together and all bad activity is not shamed for but yet is an escape from reality. Throughout the novel there is life filled with prostitution, drugs, crimes, sex, alcohol and robbery. Poverty is also seen in the City State and it creates an unstable life for the residents.

The City State is referred to being broken down, poor, violent and the use of drugs and alcohol being a norm in the society. As the text mentions, it is an “unfinished metal structure”. What can that mean, “Unfinished metal structure”? I believe it means that the society and people are still a work in progress. As we read about their problems and struggles that the society and people face, doesn’t our own society in a way reflect an image similar to theirs?

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In the text, we come across a phrase that is used often, “Do you have the time?”The author has created so many different meanings for “Do you have the time?” that it is all throughout the book. For example, on page 19 it is referring to a prostitute propositioning a client. Asking if they have the time to have sex. How ever sometimes it can refer to the actual time, on page 12 when asking for the time, Requiem replies to go check the watch. The author uses this phrase in different ways but once you read it in the contexts it actually connects and you understand the meaning behind “Do you have the time”. Translation is an important role in this novel because as readers we can translate and come up with what the phrase can mean, and the book itself has been translated into many different languages that it can change the meaning behind the text.

 

Makina’s Journey

In the novel Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, we are drawn to this character Makina who is a young, smart, brave girl who is on a mission to find her brother and deliver a message crossing the Mexico border.

While trying to find the right people to help her cross the border, she faces many risk and challenges but does not give up. Mr. Aitch agrees to help Makina however in order for him to help her, she needs to do a favor for him. We are shown how people take advantage of those crossing the border.

US Border Patrol

A US Border Patrol agent patrols the US/Mexico border

Makina is a character that does not appear too often in novels, she is strong, fearless, aggressive and smart young Mexican girl which makes the novel ten times more interesting to read. She describes herself as “the door, not the one who walks through it”, meaning she stands up for herself and does not let anyone walk through her.  Those who mess with Makina along the journey to cross the border realize she won’t go down without a fight and stands up for herself. Where as we don’t really see that too much in the Latino community. Girls are always suppose to stay quiet, not fight, and remain calm, however Makina beats that stereotype and shows the readers a new type of character.

Makina’s journey across the border to find her brother is not easy and as readers we can feel emotions for Makina as she faces struggles through out her journey. We live through Makina’s experience as if we were going through it with her.

Year 2023

A Preview of Year 2023

 

Ever imagine how the world will look like in 2023? In the novel Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, he has an interesting vision for the future. The youth of Utopia are unique, they seem to have no feelings, are money and sex driven. Where as the Others are a bit different and have experienced and gone through hardships differently than the Utopians.

The Others live in poverty while the Utopians are rich and the author gives both points of views.

The Utopians culture is very sex and money based, they live their life with no care. Unlike the Others culture they believe in a deeper meaning of intimacy and believe “it is something beyond sex”. utopia

Our society can definitely share some connections with this novel, maybe we are not too extreme as Utopia but surely if we do not fix our society we will become like the Utopia. We can see how money, sex and drugs play a big role in our society and how it has become a norm.

Just as the Utopians and the Others, our society is also split and categorized into our own class, race, religion and economic status. As we approach the Year 2023, will we be the same as the novel mentions or will we fix our ways and make our world a better place?