Dreaming in Cuban: The Rebel
Pilar Puente spends the entire novel searching for some sort of identity in the patriarchal male society. She challenges this society through her art, which she thinks is the best way to communicate her ideas. Communicating through this seemingly different language allows her to cope with her struggle to connect to one of two worlds, Cuba and America. Pilar is caught by the punk rock scene which indicates she has a rebellious, independent, and anti-government mindset. Pilar Puente demonstrates the ideas through her biggest artwork of the book, “SL-76” (Garcia 141).
Pilar’s alteration of the statue is her way of “doing what [she] feels” (Garcia 141), however it is taken as a lack of respect from the Americans at the grand opening of the bakery. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, peace, and everything else America stands for. It was initially given to America from France in the late 1800’s and shows a mutual friendship between the two nations. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States because of the help and friendship they had given each other in previous wars, for example, the Revolutionary War. One of the biggest things with the Statue of liberty was that it was a patriarchal construction of a woman as a model for a nation, during a time of a dominant male society. There are different features on the Statue of Liberty that symbolize different things. The seven rays coming out of the crown represent the seven seas and seven continents of the world. The twenty-five windows on the crown represent the gemstones found on earth. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which it was built on, symbolize Americas welcome ness to immigrants to all over the world.
Pilar does not feel this welcoming to the United States like their supposedly is. She feels exiled from her homeland in Cuba and struggles to find a place in the American society. Her alteration of the Statue of Liberty in her painting shows that she does...
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