For Thursday 4/21 finish Soledad (end–page 230) in the new paperback edition. Continue tracking the themes we’ve identified and how characters develop in the book.
We’ve discussed the settings in class: the split between the East Village and Washington Heights and what each represents. Watch for locations as you read, how Cruz presents them, and what different urban spaces mean to key characters.
Point of view. Soledad comes from a female author and the P.O.V. the reader gets is primarily from women. What differences (if any) do you notice?
Following on the last point, one key subtext of the book are the various forms of violence against women. Think about this as you read and what it feels like for the various characters to move through urban spaces.
Culture. Another point of tension in the plot is the difference between the younger and older generations of characters and between more traditional Dominican culture and the different outlook that the younger, Americanized characters have. What are the differences between how characters see the world and their place in it?
In addition to the general themes listed above, consider the following specific points:
What changes do we see in Soledad’s attitudes toward her mother, Richie, and Flaca?
How do her feelings towards the Dominican Republic and Washington Heights evolve?
What is the role of the supernatural or spirituality in the book’s conclusion?
How do memory and trauma affect the characters?
Presentation by Priscilla, Angela, Darlene, and Anthony.
Reminder: The paper on Do the Right Thing is due on 4/25. This weekend is the time to put some work into it if you haven’t yet. Review the assignment sheet and re-watch the film, taking good notes. Strongly consider a trip to the ACE Center for help crafting your paper, especially if you want a good grade. Schedule an appointment for early next week to make sure you have time before the due date. Of course, you can run ideas past me via email and/or meet with me in office hours next week to discuss, no matter where you are in the process.