8 June 2012
2. Compare what Cuba means for Pilar in the beginning of Dreaming in Cuban with what it comes to represent by the novels end.
Things that come to be expected can often be taken for granted. People who grow up in the United States come to expect certain freedoms because they have never been without those freedoms. Pilar in Dreaming in Cuban by Christina Garcia is no different. She was born in Cuba and was brought to United States when she was two years old. In the beginning of the novel Pilar dreams of being in Cuba, but by the end of the novel Pilar knows she belongs in NY. One night Pilar see’s her father with another women, she runs away to Miami to catch a flight to be in her beloved Cuba. Little does Pilar know her feelings about Cuba are about to change.
Growing up in NYC Pilar doesn’t feel like she’s American or Cuban. This could be the reason for Pillar’s controversial painting of the statue of liberty. Pilar is an artist, specializing in more abstract paintings. Pilar feels that art is the best way to express oneself and capture the idea of rebellion, and revolution. She feels like her mother Lourdes took her from Cuba against her will when she was to young to realize. Pilar has not been back to Cuba or seen her grandmother since. Pilar wants nothing more but to go back to Cuba. In the beginning of the novel Cuba represents something that was taken from her, something she wants back, something she wants to be apart of, something that she feels like she lost. She feels like her mother Lourdes is restraining her from returning to her beloved Cuba. This is possibly the reason why Pilar feels more connected with her grandma Celia in the beginning of the novel than her mother Lourdes. Celia loves Cuba the way Pilar thinks she loves Cuba. Pilar and Lourdes eventually return to Cuba for a week to see the family, reuniting them with Celia.
When Pilar is finally in Cuba she realizes...