Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Place Where the Sea Remembers †Short Story Essay

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. Marta was raped at a young age, so she wants to have an abortion. As she talks about it, Calendario, her brother in-law promises her that he and Chayo would take care of her baby when he is born, for he has been promoted to the salad maker in town. But everything changes when Chayo and Calendario are blessed with a child that they thought they would never have. Since Chayo is about to have a baby of her own, she refuses to take care of Marta’s baby. Marta’s dream is to go to El Paso. She goes to see Calendario and she finds out that her own sister did not want to take care of her child because she is having one of her own. So that is when the conflict person vs. person begins between Marta and Chayo. When Chayo finds out about her sister’s betrayal they do not speak for years. There are hard feelings going on between them throughout the story. Marta has a second conflict, person vs. supernatural. Marta goes to see Remedios, la Curandera, to help her with her problem. Remedios knows what happened to Marta even before she speaks. She knows that she was raped on the beach against her will. When Marta tells her about her problem and asks if she could help her Remedios refuses. Marta, disappointed about her sister’s selfishness, goes to el brujo to put a spell on her sister’s son. Marta regrets doing that and goes to Remedios to undo the spell. Chayo still thinks the curse is there after four years. Marta takes care of her own child, and learns how to deal with the fact he came from a rape but in the end there is a twist of fate. Remedios has seen Marta’s future. She knows that her child is going to die; she sees this when the boy was in his mother’s womb. The conflict of person vs. person begins with Don Justo Flores. Each day he goes to the beach where people beach pay him to see his birds perform tricks. Don Justo is a lonely man but he has a story. He had two wives and five children, including Justina, his first, and Ernestina, his fifth. Suddenly he receives a telegraph; he suspects it is bad news but he cannot read. He hopes the telegraph is from Justina saying all is forgiven. So as he walks on the beach as usual, he finds a girl named Rita and asks her to pick her fortune. Don Justo asks the guy next to her to read him the telegraph. The guy tells him it is bad news after he reads, â€Å"Come home at once, papa Justina is gone from us.†(A Place Where the Sea Remembers, Sandra Benitez, p. 108) So he gathers his things and goes to town for tequila and he blames himself for not being a good father and not being there for Justina when she was a little girl. He remembers allowing his second wife to push Justina out of the hou se; he cannot stand the pain. Whether we like it or not, conflict is a part of everyday lives. It can happen to anyone, from your friends to your family. Often it is not the fact that conflict occurs, but how it is dealt with, how people react to it. After being touched by conflict, people can evolve and build strong relationships. However, conversely many people can also suffer and be influenced. Therefore, in some ways conflict can be commendable, and some ways it can be brutal. Often conflict is violent, negative and destructive. However, this is not always so. There are times where conflict can bring unexpected qualities from people change a person for the better. Humans are stubborn. In A Place where the Sea Remembers, Marta and Chayo are experiencing person vs. person conflict. If the sisters understood each other and accepted that each other’s perspective is different, but not wrong, there would not have been any conflict.

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