Literature

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Cara Skelley

In both Dreaming in Cuban and Forgetfullness I believe the characters are living in history. They are holding onto to something that already happened, in hope that it hadnt. In both books I feel as if the characters continue to refer to past relationships, feelings, and situations. Characters are faced with the challenge of facing what happened in their lives, forgetting it, and moving on from it.

In Dreaming in Cuban, Celia lives her life in seperation. "Celia cannot decide which is worse, separation or death. Separation is familiar, too familiar, but Celia is uncertain she can reconcile it with permanence." From Celias first marriage and on she experienced sepereation and the people she cared about most leaving her life. She went through complete depression. Almost as if she were dead when Gustavo left. Although Celia met Jorge and remarried she still continued to write letters to her first husband, Gustavo. Gustavo doesnt respond to the letters. Its like she writes the letters for her own personal happiness. She finds that maybe her relationship with him through letters can be enough or better than having him there next to her. Its the perfect example of her living in history. Its nearly impossible to move on with life when your stuck in the past.

Not only did both Celias husbands leave her, but so did her children and grandchildren. "It seems to her that she has spent her entire life waiting for others, for something or other to happen." I dont think Celia every fully overcomes the events of her life. She is constanly holding onto the past. Whether it be one of her husbands, children, or grnadchildren.

Pilar is another character that has trouble overcoming historical narratives. "The air was different from Cuba’s. It had a cold, smoked smell that chilled my lungs. The skies looked newly washed, streaked with light. And the trees were different, too. They looked on fire. I’d run through great heaps of leaves just to hear them...
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