Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban

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  • Topic: Family, Fidel Castro, Mother
  • Pages : 9 (3289 words )
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  • Published : February 3, 2009
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Cristina Garcia’s Dreaming in Cuban tells the story about three generations of a Cuban family and their different views provoked by the Cuban revolution. Though part of the same family, an outsider might classify them as adversaries judging by relationships between one another, the exiled family members, and the differentiations between political views. Although all of these central themes reoccur over and over throughout the narrative, family relationships lie at the heart of the tale. The relationships between these Cuban family members are for the most part ruptured by any or a combination of the above themes.

Every individual relationship mentioned in the book consists of at least one direct family member of Celia del Pino. Celia is the matriarch of the del Pino family from whom many of the conflicts involved in the family originate. As a young woman, Celia meets and falls in love with a Spaniard named Gustavo. Unfortunately for her, Gustavo is married man who soon after a passionate love affair returns to Spain. The mother of Lourdes, Felicia and Javier, is then courted by her future husband Jorge del Pino. Once persuaded to marry Jorge, Celia moves in with Jorge’s mother and sister and Jorge promptly leaves for several months on business. Jorge’s mother and sister are very cruel to Celia and increase their malice after she becomes pregnant. Although revealed later, Jorge did this to intentionally punish Celia for still loving Gustavo in an indirect way. “After we were married, I left her with my mother and my sister. I knew what it would do to her. A part of me wanted to punish her. For the Spaniard” (Garcia 195). Jorge’s mother, Berta Arango del Pino, upon first meeting Celia snatched a white orchid from her hair reprimanding her “I will have no harlotry in my house,” (Garcia 40). Even though Celia did not do much of anything to provoke these hard feelings, the classic in-laws relationship is the first chronologically in the novel. This mere three page section of the book may seem pretty insignificant, but this time period in Abuela Celia’s life is pivotal concerning the theme of family relationships. Despite Celia’s attempts to gain Jorge’s family’s affection, their cruelty increases even during her pregnancy causing Celia’s hard feelings towards Jorge for abandoning her. Once her first daughter Lourdes is born, Celia has become mentally unstable and resents the child at first, handing the child to Jorge once he returns with the words, “I will not remember her name” (Garcia 43). Therefore, for the first few months of Lourdes life, she is without Celia and feels bitter towards her mother for not being there for her during those critical months of her life; as a result becomes very close with her father. Because of these circumstances, Celia is already off to an imperfect start with her bond with Lourdes and Jorge which only worsen over time.

A common impression conveyed throughout Garcia’s novels is that the mothers of the story can not coincide with their daughters. As mentioned previously, Lourdes dislikes her mother from the moment she finds out why Celia was absent for her first few months of life. However, Lourdes shared a special bond with Jorge admiring his character and beliefs. She loved her father very much, and exerted herself to make his last months on earth comfortable. “She [Lourdes] handed her remaining savings to the nuns and requested a private room with a television and the best nurse in the hospital” (Garcia 22). As a result of bonding close to her father, Lourdes adopts Jorge’s ideals and beliefs, widening differential gap between herself and her mother. Lourdes supports the United States capitalist style government where Celia vehemently insists that Socialism is the way. Lourdes stands for U.S. patriotism and even has thoughts of killing El Lider, while Celia is a revolutionary who worships El Lider.

Many analytical interpretations can be offered to explain the...
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