"I see a mosaic pattern (Aztec-like) emerging, a weaving pattern, thin here, thick there . . . This almost finished product seems an assemblage, a montage...now appearing, now disappearing in a crazy dance. The whole thing has a mind of its own, escaping me and insisting on putting together the pieces of its own puzzle with minimal direction from my will." – Gloria Anzaldua.
English 380A, Winter 2011
Professor Deborah Miranda

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Journal #3 Dreamscapes

Tony struggles with the cultural differences between his generation and that of his parents, but finds middle ground in his dreams. The contest between native religion and Catholicism becomes especially visible by examining Tony's relationship to his mother and father. He feels both sides of his blood pulling him in different directions. His mother wants him to be a priest, but his father believes that his blood is wild and cares much less about his involvement in the church. At the end of Chapter Once, Tony has a dream that provides a visualization of the forces he feels inside himself. As his father and mother argue over which side of the family he takes after, Tony watches as, "[the lake] cracked with the laughter of madness as it inflicted death upon the people...The cosmic struggle of the two forces would destroy everything!" (Anaya 126). This conflict characterizes the struggle between the Luna priests and his father's pagan heritage. Tony faces pressure from both sides of his family because both wish for their ways of life to carry on past themselves. The result of this pressure, however, leaves Tony without an identity of his own. Instead, he has nothing but chaos and moral systems that seem to clash with each other.

Tony's dreams, though often filled with frightening imagery, often function to resolve the external conflicts that result from a changing culture. While he appears to pull away from the Catholic faith Tony maintains ties to the church and continues to work towards his first communion. At the end of this dream, Ultima reveals that, "The waters are one...You have been seeing only parts, she finished, and not looking beyond into the great cycle that binds us all" (Anaya 126). The messages conveyed by Catholicism and the Golden Carp are, in fact, basically the same. They both preach the importance of avoiding sin, but more importantly both religions have dire consequences for those who continue to sin. This vision of religion allows Tony to break free of the battle between the two sides of his family as he realizes that he is a combination of the two. He remains free to live a life without sin by choosing either path. His new identity does not need to deny any part of himself, but rather accept and live both parts to their fullest.

1 comment:

  1. This "cosmic struggle" between two forces that SEEM to oppose one another can be read as many things: Colonizer/Indigenous, Male/Female, Wilderness/Domesticity, Christianity/Paganism. Ultima's comment has the potential to help resolve things for Antonio, and he does indeed seem to love both the Church, and his more land-based spiritual powers. If Antonio succeeds in making himself a synthesis of these two forces, so that he is truly a "mestizo," how will that affect the two sides he loves so much? Will the "Mares" side accept the "mixture" of Mares and Luna that is Antonio? And vice versa? I wonder if Anaya felt that the analogy of mestizas as children of two different races that bring two warring families together would be comforting and familiar to Chican@s. How does this analogy help him completely avoid the La Malinche problem (Spanish "rape" of Indigenous culture)??