Essay 1, Word Count: 971
The play “The Cuban Swimmer” seems to be a run-of-the-mill coming of age story, where a young girl finds her confidence to be herself, and shows her family that she can handle her life on her own. However, it is not just Margarita who is coming into herself in this play. Her younger brother, Simon, deals with a crisis of his own in this story. His sister goes missing at sea, and suddenly, he cannot imagine what his life would be like without her. She has always been a guide for him, someone to look up to, and now he realizes that he may need to take on some more responsibility of his own now. The Cuban swimmer highlights Simon’s experiences, as he has his own coming of age moment. The first time we see Simon realize he may need to grow up is, in scene 6 when he says, “You’re not supposed to leave me behind” (440). He is realizing that his sister may be gone forever, but in a different aspect, he could be realizing that not only is he growing up, but if she turns up fine and goes on with her life, his sister is going to grow up and grow apart from him as well, which he has never experienced. He is angry at his father for pushing her too hard towards a dream that was not even hers. He is desperate for her to come back to him and he tries to send a telepathic message to his sister who could be hundreds of miles away from him. The magical realism in this story is hidden until this scene. Margarita is lost, and her brother is desperately trying to communicate with her. This is the turning point of the play, when Margarita gets lost and doesn’t know how to continue on with her race; a so-called “magical intervention” is set in place, according to Shelly Sanders in “Mi carne, mi sangre, mis ilusiones”: the collision of words and worlds in Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s The Cuban Swimmer” (3). Simon somehow triggers the burst of strength that his sister needed. As his family is doing...
Cited: Sanders, Shelly. " 'Mi carne, mi sangre, mis ilusiones ': the collision of words and worlds inMilcha Sanchez-Scott 's The Cuban Swimmer." Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature 27.2(2010): S67+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
Schwiebert, John E. "Milcha Sanchez-Scott, The Cuban Swimmer." Reading and Writing from Literature. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 430-41. Print.
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