Top-Rated Free Essay

Analysis of 'A Place Where the Sea Remembers' by Sandra Benitez

Good Essays
An offering by Sandra Benitez, A Place Where the Sea Remembers is a tale of love and anger, hope and tragedy, filled with haunting characters. Its setting is the Mexican village of Santiago, where Remedios, the healer, listens to the peoples' stories and gives them advice.

The healer goes to the sea to tell it her stories, and in turn, the sea tells its stories to her. "The sea listens, and the sea retells." At the heart of this tale is Chayo (19), the flower-seller, and her husband, Candelario (28), the salad-maker. They are unable to have a child, so when Chayo's younger sister Marta (16) gets pregnant (she was raped but no one believes her)and talks about getting an abortion,Candelario offers to take it as their own. Marta accepts. But soon before Marta births her child, Candelario loses his job and Chayo gets pregnant,and refuses to take Marta's baby.

Marta is shocked and angry, and goes to Remedios to cast a spell for Chayo to change her mind. But Remedios refuses to do this, telling Marta she should raise the baby herself and not venture out to El Paso. Remedios tells her that El Paso will not bring her the good life; only trouble. So Marta goes to the sorceror instead, and he casts a spell on Chayo's child, so that Marta's child will be eventually able to replace it.

Chayo eventually has her son, and he grows to be five years old. But he turns out to be deathly allergic to things like fire ants (this was the sorceror's spell). Chayo hates Marta for this, and will not forgive her. But when the river floods at the end of the book, Marta's son falls in and is swept away by the current. Remedios waits at the shore for the body to reveal itself, and Chayo forgives Marta.

So the tale is about justice, in that sense.

But that's only the main part of the story. Interwoven with this primary tale is the stories of others. One of these stories is that of Fulgencio Llanos, the photographer.

He has just gotten a photograph of the true identity of a famous masked wrestler. He knows he will become famous for this photo. But when he misses the bus back to Santiago, he has to catch a ride with a white American.

The American decides to veer off to a beach on the way back.

Fulgencio gets nervous, thinking he's going to steal his camera equipment. So when the American gets out of the car to go check out the beach, Fulgencio tries to grab hold of the Americans machettes in the back seat. But just as he's doing so, the American gets back to the car and is shocked at what he sees. He screams at Fulgencio to get out of the car, and he peels away.

Fulgencio is heartbroken, with his equipment stolen.

But as he walks down the path, he sees that the American had dumped his equipment out of the car before he drove off.

He wasn't a thief after all! It turns out they were both afraid of each other, for no good reason at all.

Fulgencio would still make it big with his photo.

The next story is that of Raphael Beltran. He is a shy school teacher who lives with his mother, taking care of her even though she does not appreciate it. He grows into his own man when he begins to teach his mother's young servant Ines. He teaches her to read, even against his mother's wishes (she views her as "just a little Indian girl").

Then there is Esperanza Clemente, the midwife. She has been selfless her entire life, ever since she was raped when she was young. Since then she has felt that she did not deserve happiness, not a "ravaged woman". She and Raphael had always been interested in each other, and when his mother finally moves out, they begin to go on dates. But when Esperanza tells Raphael that she had been raped once, Raphael walks away, in shock. But he soon apologizes, and they get married.

Next there is Cesar Burgos, the fisherman. His wife and two sons died not long ago in a bus crash. He had but one son left, and he would not speak to his father. Cesar felt awful and helpless with his son. He'd take him fishing, but still, not a word from the boy. Cesar finally broke down and cried, thinking he's a bad father, and telling the boy he'll give him away to his sister.

But the boy simply tells his father that he blames himself, and that is why he could not speak. They console each other, and they finish the memorial that the father had constructed to remember their family by. They place it at the site of the crash, and hug.

Finally there is Justo Flores, the birdman. He gives people fortunes and puts on little shows for children with his bird.

But he is a lonely old man with a fake smile. He has two former wives and grown up children whom he never talks to anymore.

They won't speak to him. The most he can do now is try to help other people by entertaining them for a short while.

All in all, this book is one that interweaves many peoples' stories into a single tale of hopes, triumphs, shortcomings, and failures to form an impression of a world in which destiny can hinge on the smallest of actions.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    A reoccurring theme in A Place Where the Sea Remembers, is family and relationships. All relationships in the beginning if the book seem to be a bit rocky, but towards the end they all seem to pan out fairly nicely. Chayo and Marta are two characters that experience many hardships in their relationship, but end up overcoming it all in the end. Esperanza and Rafael also go through a lot in their relationship, but it ends with a beautiful marriage. Ceasar and Beto seem to have a very difficult relationship towards the beginning of the book as well, but they overcome that with ease.…

    • 508 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In, A Place Where the Sea Remembers, several events take place to describe the little city of Santiago, Mexico. This town is just south of the border by El Paso, Texas. The book focuses around a lady known as the Remedios. She is a very old healer that helps people with their problems of love, hate, etc. She is the “good” in the book, whereas El Brujo, the warlock, is the bad man in the book. This book’s other strong point is that it has several short narratives that focus on one, or a few citizens of Santiago. A few examples are, Candelario (the salad maker), Marta (16 year old that’s pregnant), Fulgencio (the photographer that loses all of his equipment) and Don Justo Flores (left his wife and kids and now it haunts him when one of his daughters die). In these stories, these people go threw hardships and ordeals that teach us, the readers, how to or not to deal with life when it isn’t looking UP.…

    • 1103 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sandra Benitez book" A PLACE WHERE THE SEA REMEMBERS" introduces us to the struggles of the residents of a small village in Santiago, Mexico. This book is filled of love and anger, tragedy and hope. Each character faces a conflict that affects the course of his or her life. The characters in this conflict are Remedios, the healer, of the small town who listens to people’s stories and gives them advice. Than, Marta a 16 year old teenage girl who was raped and became pregnant. Chayo is Marta’s big sister and Calendario is Chayo’s husband. Also Justo Flores who was a birdman had a conflict with person vs. self. One of the most important conflicts in this story would be person vs. person than person vs. supernatural followed by person vs. self.…

    • 727 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cande celebrates his promotion to salad-maker by painting his door his favorite color, blue. He works at a restaurant in Santiago owned by Don Gustavo del Norte. Don Gustavo has taught him to make Caesar salad, hoping the restaurant will become famous for it. His 19-year-old wife, Chayo, and her 15-year-old sister, Marta, arrive. Marta was raped by Roberto Ramos and wants an abortion from the visiting doctor from Guadalajara. Luz told her it costs 100,000 pesos. Chayo hasn’t been able to have children, so without thinking, Cande says he’ll raise the baby. As a man, he can’t take his word back.…

    • 2494 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    1. Anne Fadiman narrates the events of “Under Water” in first person. She prepares us by describing the setting and the conditions and intentions of the event. I think Anne wants us to realize that everyone on the trip, including the instructors, are human. Even though they knew there was no chance of saving Gary, or even possibly reaching his unresponsive body, they tried their hardest.…

    • 407 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Theme: The Rhythm of Life Summary: This best-selling novel, published in 1993, is set in Santiago, Mexico, and consists of short interrelated narratives, each one focused on a single character. The work depicts the triumphs and tragedies of common people-a flower-seller, a healer, a fisherman, a teacher, a midwife, and others-whose lives are interwoven by fate and passion. The characters struggle to survive and prevail in a difficult and mysterious world, one edged by the rhythms and power and beauty of the sea.…

    • 607 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Sea

    • 321 Words
    • 2 Pages

    A Place Where the sea Remembers is a book written by the author Sandra Benitez. The story takes place in a small town in Santiago, Mexico. Candelario (the salad maker), Marta (the 16 year old that’s pregnant), Fulgencio (the photographer that loses all of his equipment are all characters that go through hardships and unfairness. The conflicts this essay will have are person vs person because the characters that I will be describing are having problems with other characters.…

    • 321 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Seafarer Essay

    • 1281 Words
    • 6 Pages

    “Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” Robert Henri statement not only applies to himself but it also explains many other human’s feelings towards the ocean. This passion is significant in “The Seafarer” by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon scop. “The Seafarer” intertwines the positives and negatives of a life at sea. The story goes through the sacrificial day to day life of a sailor. The voyages cause many controversial scenarios in the sailor’s life. Although sailing a life at sea is very interfering to a normal life, the Seafarer still loves the life he lives and also finds himself on a much deeper spiritual level than any ocean depth he has ever came across.…

    • 1281 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In Rebecca Kanner’s Sinners and the Sea and Yasmina Reza’s The God of Carnage the human capacity to commit violence is emphasized. Kanner portrays violence during the time of Noah time before and during the flood. The sinners of the town of Sorum, as well as some members of Noah’s family, commit acts of violence toward one another. Reza portrays violence with the same intensity as Kanner, but with a limited cast of characters. The difference between the two portrayals of violence is that Kanner uses evil as a transformative force, while Reza depicts evil as an end. Kanner is hopeful that evil restores the good, while Reza believes that evil does not bring positive outcomes.…

    • 1601 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In A Place Where the Sea Remembers, the author talks about a lot of unique characters. Candelario Marroquin is a man who has had a very hard life, but now that he has been promoted it looks like his life with Chayo, his wife, is looking up. He is a big character in the book and is greatly affected by fate.In the opening of the book, when Candelario Marroquin is first introduced in the story, he is painting the door of his house blue as a celebration that he has just gotten promoted to a salad maker. It is expressed that Cande is very fond of the color blue and all of its meaning to him. As the story goes on, Cande gets fired from the job after he makes an inedible salad, although his boss, Don Gustavo, is the one who had created it.Candelario is affected by many things that go on in the story. For instance, he is indirectly affected by rape because his sister in law, Marta, gets raped. This also ties in with abortion because Marta wants to get an abortion, but Cande offers to take care of the baby once it is born. When he finds out that Chayo also gets pregnant he decides not to take Marta's baby because they are unable to take care of both, so then Marta is forced to have the baby and take care of it on her own as a single parent. Moreover, she becomes desperate and puts a spell on their unborn baby. Later on in the story, his nephew Richard, Marta's son, dies in a terrible storm and gets washed away into the sea. It can be considered karma that Marta's son dies. Candelario's wife Chayo is connected with all of these events as well. It is fate for them that they have a baby and therefore cannot take care of Marta's baby, which cause her to do what she did and put a spell on their baby. It is also fate for them that Cande got fired from his job as a salad maker.…

    • 915 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Carl Safina’s writings of Song for the Blue Ocean, he reflects on his and others take on what is currently going on to the salmon across the Northwest. As you can clearly see from his writing he truly admires this animal and so do many of the people he introduces us to. He shares with us the ridicule’s many industries, whom are harming the salmon have laid plainly before us and we fall for without any second thought.…

    • 528 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the beginning of the book, the girl from the short story, Children of the Sea, stays positive through all the negativity in her life in Haiti. She writes a letter to her lover, who has escaped Haiti and is at sea, where she writes, “and when we see each other again, it will seem like we lost no time” (Danticat 8). She has strong hopes that her and her boyfriend will both survive and…

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In A Place Where the Sea Remembers, Sandra Benitez invites us into a mesmerizing world filled with love, anger, tragedy and hope. This rich and bewitching story is a bittersweet portrait of the people in Santiago, a Mexican village by the sea. Each character faces a conflict that affects the course of his or her life. The characters in this conflict are Remedios, la curandera of the small town who listens to people’s stories and gives them advice, Marta, a 16 year old teenage girl, who was raped and became pregnant. Chayo is Marta’s big sister and Calendario is Chayo’s husband. Justo Flores, his conflict is person vs. self. One of the most important conflicts in this story is person vs. person, then person vs. supernatural followed by person vs. self.…

    • 804 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The ocean setting also plays an integral part of Edna’s awakening in that her first and final awakenings occur in the sea. The “voice of the sea speaks to the soul,” and to Edna, that voice was crying individualism (Chopin 18). Edna’s indecisiveness about her relationships is what causes her ultimately to surrender to the sea. She allows the vast, powerful ocean with its “seductive, never-ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring” voice to overcome her and her troubles.…

    • 1578 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Pearl Epilogue

    • 759 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although Kino and Juana had their differences in seeing each other, they each had moments over the years where they loved each other very much. It was enough for Juana to reach a stage of being pregnant once again. With a new baby on the way it certainly kept Juana occupied for many months. Kino for months found food, water, and enough things to call a cave somewhat of his home. No matter how many animals Kino had skinned it wasn’t enough to keep him or Juana warm. Juana was growing very sick because she was losing energy from caring the baby in her stomach. When the time came for the baby can come out of Juana’s whom, she was on the edge of dying. They both knew that the baby would have to be cut out of Juana’s whom, so Juana insisted to do anything to her to get the one thing Kino and her wanted the most, their beautiful baby daughter. Kino had to kill Juana for she wouldn’t have to suffer the pain of being sliced like a butcher slices…

    • 759 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays

Related Topics