I dont really get the short vingette. "before people left for up north..." i get the plot of the story but whats the meaning behind the priest...im oober confused...i mean why does the priest put up the pictures of his travels so the poeple can be like wow thanks for showing what you did after blessing my car..tearer! is that it?
i read the summary of a nuttshell of this story but the last main point is unidentifiable to me...elaborate pls
That's sort of it - the priest is unintentionally forcing the Chicanos to be aware of everything they aren't allowed to have. See these nice things? They're not for you!
But that's not quite it.
The key to that scene is understanding the "con safo" symbol. It's used for a lot of things in real life, but here, it's used as a way of stamping one's identity - to claim it, for lack of a better word.
It's sort of like carving your initials into a tree trunk. It proves you were there, that this belonged to you, and that you mattered enough to be worth that identification.
The "sacrilege" here refers to that "identity stamp." The priest can't understand why people are carving their names and symbols into new church pews, let alone why people are basically tagging his postcards.
What the priest is missing is a recognition of why someone would want to leave their mark. When you have nothing, carving your name on a church pew is the only way you can be part of something nice. And every time you see that pew, you won't think, "Wow, I ruined that bench." You'll think, "Hey! That's me! I'm on the new bench!"
The symbols, the carvings - they're a way of laying claim to nice things for people who don't usually have them. The priest doesn't understand that longing because he's making five dollars per blessing, and he has enough money to travel voluntarily - something the Chicanos will never be able to do. Leaving a mark on a postcard is the closest to a vacation they'll ever get.
I hope this helps...
FERACO! U DA BOMB!
i was thinking over this story forever but now it makes complete scence. I didnt even think of the people wanting to leave their mark persay. I just thought they enjoyed their chuch i guess. now this makes me see the book from an entirely different perspecitific. I forgot that chicanos also had nothing literally. They make money and spend it on food and other iteams needed for survival. These people coming to a new country had no way of really making their mark and in essance feeling completly proud of where they come from as well as gratfful for Americas oppertunites.
It makes the sacrifice of five dollars for a blessing even more powerful. That's food, sustenance, survival - and they're trading it for a hope that someone will watch over them and prevent them from suffering even more.
I am really having trouble understanding the purpose of "Bartolo passed through town..." I understand that people like the poems because they include their name like when we get mentioned in lectures in class we pay more attention but why is the vignette so important?
Well, you started off with a good chunk of the purpose, so let me try to put that chunk in perspective.
Let's pretend Rivera is Bartolo. That will probably make things easier.
Rivera/Bartolo's there in December, the month when life meets death...the ending and beginning of a year. ("The Lost Year" is about to receive its bookend in "Under the House".)
He makes his living through communication - specifically, the written word. Remember, Rivera was an exception. Most Chicanos couldn't write for a living.
The reason people pay attention to his work is because they recognize themselves in it. It's more than a name-drop - they recognize their stories, their dashed hopes and vivid frustrations, their hopes and fears. The poems are popular because people connect to them.
People are brought together by the readings in particular. When he reads the poems aloud, it's something "emotional and serious" - i.e., his readings make them matter. This is a straight shout-out to El Teatro Campesino, of course - the community bonding over shared stories and experiences in their entertainment. But it's when he reads them - at night, in the dark of winter - that matters most.
See, the Chicanos' lives are awful. They're filled with darkness - spiritual emptiness, violent racism, loss of home and dignity...I could go on, but you get the idea.
Rivera's offering a way out...the "seed of love" in the darkness.
He knows that the only way for anything to change is for the Chicanos to unite - to love themselves for who they are, to love their brothers and sisters in arms, and to recognize that they aren't nearly as alone as they've always felt. They're not alone because their words matter - and these are people who are conditioned to believe that they don't matter because they have "nothing" to lose. If these stories are shared, they'll be understood by other people - people who turn out to be like them in a land filled with people who are mainly interested in being unlike them.
So by sowing the seed of love in the darkness, Rivera/Bartolo is hoping to reap a harvest of loving unity in the spring - a vibrant, self-aware Chicano community that can recognize itself for what it is. He's hoping to abolish that darkness, one story written and one perspective expanded at a time.
Indeed, I can argue that every story in the text is a seed, and that the crop isn't harvested until the end of "Under the House" (when the boy sees a figure that looks like himself and waves to it). If so, this story's like a miniature version of Rivera's mission statement:
I will change the world through writing - share the voices of silenced people who badly want to be heard, and prove to them that they aren't as weak and powerless as they've always feared.
As a result, this is a deeply important story. Rivera's been planting seeds all along, little moments of beauty and love in the darkness, waiting for someone to come along and discover them. With this book's publication, Rivera may finally have been able to shed a light of them.
Does this help?
That makes a lot more sense. This is by far my favorite book we have read this year. Thank you so much Feraco.
I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of this book with you guys - I did you a real disservice by trying to blow through it as quickly as I did at the end of this semester. There's so much to talk about with every story, and I only spent a couple of weeks on it! Oh well...you live and you learn. I'm just relieved that you still like it!
Next time you should just skip 1984 hehe. Thats book was SO hard for me to get into. With this one I just read it in two days and I really don't like analyzing themes and symbols all that much but while I'm annotating I try to find more themes than the huge list you already gave us.