West Indies, U.S.A - Literature Notes
Cruising at thirty thousand feet above the endless green 1.the island seems like dice tossed on a casino's baize, some come up lucky, others not. Puerto Rico takes the pot, 2.the Dallas of the West Indies, 2.silver linings on the clouds as we descend are hall-marked, 1.San Juan glitters like a maverick's gold ring. All across the Caribbean we'd collected terminals - 1.airports are like calling cards, cultural fingerprints; the hand written signs at Port-au-Prince, Piarco's sleazy tourist art, the lethargic contempt of the baggage boys at 'Vere Bird' in St. Johns .... And now for 4.plush San Juan.
But the pilot's bland you're safe in my hands drawl crackles as we land, 'US regulations demand all passengers not disembarking at San Juan stay on the plane, I repeat, stay on the plane.' 3.Subtle Uncle Sam, afraid too many 5.desperate blacks might re-enslave this Island of the free, might jump the barbed electric fence around 6.'America's back yard' and claim that vaunted sanctuary ..... 3. 'give me your poor .....' Through toughened, tinted glass 7.the contrasts tantalise; US patrol cars glide across the shimmering tarmac, containered baggage trucks unload with 8.fierce efficiency. So soon we're climbing, low above the pulsing city streets; galvanized shanties overseen by condominiums polished Cadillacs shimmying with pushcarts and as we climb, San-Juan's 9.fools-glitter calls to mind the shattered innards of a TV set that's fallen off the back of a lorry, all painted valves and circuits 1.the road like twisted wires, the bright cars, micro-chips. 10.It's sharp and jagged and dangerous, and belonged to some-one else.
This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.
The persona is travelling in a plane, looking down at San Juan, Puerto Rico as the plane descends. He is saying that this island is the wealthiest in the Caribbean because it has won the jackpot, it has come up lucky. He then points out that he, and others, had travelled to many Caribbean islands and received a hint of the flavour of each island through it's calling card, - its airport - all of which fail when compared to plush San Juan. As they land, they are instructed to stay on the plane if their destination is not San Juan. The persona takes offence and states that America does not want blacks in San Juan, implying that they might be a disruptive force. He notes the efficiency with which things flow, enabling them to take to the skies once more. During the ascent, the persona notes the contrast between the influences of the Caribbean and America. He likens San-Juan to a broken TV, it Iooks good on the outside, but broken on the inside.
* Line 2: Puerto Rico is compared to dice that is tossed on a casino's baize, it can either come up with winning numbers, or losing numbers. Puerto Rico comes up with winning numbers in the game of chance, as reflected in its wealthy exterior, which is supported by America. * Lines 7-8: San Juan's glitter is compared to a maverick's gold ring. The word maverick implies non-conformist, an individualist. This implies that San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean, but not a part of the Caribbean. It belongs to America. * Lines 10-11: Airports are compared to calling cards. This means that, like a calling card, the quality of the airport gives you an idea of the island's status economically. The airport is also compared to a cultural fingerprint. A fingerprint is an individual thing, therefore the airport gives the traveler an idea of the island's cultural landscape.
* Line 39: The road is compared to twisted wires. This means that the roads, from above, look both plentiful and curvy. This does not carry a...
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