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Symbolism in Fuentes’ Aura

On the surface, Fuentes’ Aura is a very strange and eerie book. It draws you in and keeps you there, forcing you to read the book to its very end. Just below the surface, a world of symbolism, words and parallels lead to a greater understanding of what is happening throughout this captivating tale.

Skimming the surface of the story, an abundance of symbols can be signaled out, but a recurrence of symbols is very important. One of the most prevalent symbols found in this story is the darkness of Senora Consuelo’s old colonial mansion. The house is so dark the characters must learn to maneuver by sound and touch. The darkness sets the tone for the whole story. Senora Consuelo’s room is not bathed in light but filled with “perpetual shadows”. Of course darkness and shadows are a staple of the Gothic, but darkness could also be suggestive of the unknown or not being able to think clearly. Shadows could be interpreted as that which is clouded, hard to grasp, or just beyond clear vision. Did the darkness and shadows contribute to Felipe?s state of mind and make him more susceptible to Senora Consuelo’s will?

The rooms where the action of a story takes place are also very important. Some the rooms used in the book are bedrooms, the dining room, the parlor, and the enclosed garden patio. The first room we see inside of this old house is the garden patio. This room is interesting because the smell from the patio is always associated with the title character. Felipe looks for her in this garden; he smells the patio plants in her hair. Symbolically, the garden can be associated with the mind, with the unconscious, or it may give you clues to your own inner state. The plants, flowers, and fruit found in the garden may also enhance t…

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…book. These symbols and recurrences are not coincidental or superficial, but upon investigation, give deeper insight into how deeply the mindset of our main character was affected. We now know that Felipe had almost no choice and was lulled into this household. Then there is a plausible explanation about the true relationship between Aura and Senora Consuelo. This book turns out to be a very strange life/death cycle that still leaves questions that need to be answered.

Work Cited

Fuentes, Carlos. Aura. Trans. Lysander Kemp. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981.

Fuentes, Carlos. “Worlds Apart.” Modernism/Postmodernism. Ed. Peter Brooker. London: Longman, 1992. 244-46.

Gillespie, Kathleen ” A literary Legend Speaks ? Carlos Fuentes at the Askwith Education Forum” 1 de Diciembre de 2003

Regulation of Conception in Moore’s How

Regulation of Conception in Moore’s How

Lorrie Moore’s “How” takes an active stand on love and relationships. It strongly and clearly rests on the values and ideas that our society holds on the concepts of partnership among a man and woman. Moore formatted the narrative in such a way that it commands the reader’s dependency upon the author’s words, makes inevitable foreshadow, and specifically directs our views into the story. By using the cultural analysis, one will find ways and evidence that assisted Moore in successfully achieving these previously listed. Those aspects that will be covered include the exterior and interior structure of the narrative, how it sets our views and expectations of the aspects of love and relationships, how that potentially influences our personal thoughts, goals, and actions, how the narrative changes focus, perception, and sympathy on each character, and how the author used allusion to help the reader create visualization.

In “How,” the title itself has the reader to automatically look into the story line for information and insight instead of entertainment. This alone, gives the author the upperhand and ability to feed her ideas into our own. Like other “how to” texts, off hand, the writer is looked to with much creditability which in turn causes us to absorb and believe more of its context. Furthermore, “How” is written in a step by step pattern where each thought, action, and time frame is easy to follow and understand. Moore also uses the word “will” often to state a command. Within the narrative, Moore states and describes the progression and passage of time. The events that take place in a relationship are foreshadowed and an inevitability is portrayed. Also, t…

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…ions were relevant to either actual singers, actors, music, or musicals. Moore made several reference to the violin (991). The violin is closely associated with death. Theses allusions were made with the female character’s fantasies of a funeral and nightmares of her own downfall. Other allusions made were that of Dorothy (992) in the “Wizard of Oz,” James Cagney (988 and 991), Ozzie and Harriet (987), Hank Williams (993), Coriolanus (988), and Robert Goulet (989).

“How” is a powerful piece in its ability to catch its reader and directly challenge or influence their ideas. The format commanded, foreshadowed, and focused on many aspects of love and relationships. Moore specifically directed our attention throughout the narrative. However, she ended with some freedom for the reader to make their own conclusion and develop their own opinions of the text.

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