The central idea of the story Marina is what does it mean to be a woman? Marina and her mother have a hard time defining and translating two words “woman” and “mother”. Since Judith Cofer has a demanding job as a teacher and writer and is away from home. Judith’s mother becomes concerned of her familial duties which are sometimes a source of friction in their relationship. After a heated argument with her mother, Judith decides to visit her mom in Puerto Rico where she finds what it truly means to be a woman. On a walk with her mother they see an old man playing gently with his granddaughter mom where mom goes into retelling of the story of Marina. When Marina interacts with girls of the pueblo by the river, called Rio Rojo, where the girls go to bathe. Marina with her long hands braids the girl’s hair. Marina secludes herself from the other girls on the river bank and never undresses always speaking very quietly. Half of Marina’s life she had had to keep her identity a secret of being born a boy for the sake of her mother, who slipped out of reality she still believed Marina, was a girl. When Kiki, the mayors daughter joined the bathers at the river that summer Marina and Kiki became inseparable and escaped together. Cofer’s decision to frame the story of Marina shows how you can be a woman without actually being a woman can be through being taught how to act like a girl, by observations of interaction with girls by the river, and learning how to take care of his mother.
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