Indeed, the central character, Cerezita Valle, is represented as one of the earliest cases of pesticide poisoning: she was born with a head but no body after her pregnant mother worked in the contaminated fields. Now approaching adulthood, Cerezita is a consummate reader and commentator on the diseased and dying community that she watches from her window and experiences in her home. In McFarland and the surrounding communities, pesticide poisoning took a strong toll; the birth defects and cancers developing among its children inspired the United Farm Workers Movement to release The Wrath of Grapes , a short documentary detailing the problems at hand. In Heroes and Saints , the dead bodies of community children are crucified in silent protest of cancerous pesticidal conditions in Mexican American farmworking communities. As limp bodies hanging from a cross, these dead children command attention in ways that their privately buried bodies would not. The [End Page ] play dramatizes two possible gothic readings of these bodies: one views the dead and injured bodies that traverse the play as an irrational threat manifested by the Mexican American farm workers; in the second reading of these bodies, ritual Christian performance recuperates the gothic as a mode that can mobilize injury into social change.
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Albuquerque: West End Press, Although there is not really a straightforward plot, I find the play making comments on how loving and death are related through different generations of women in and within the U. There is a lot of attention to the connection that lesbian sex has to the sense of self, to religion, and to the land.
This seems necessary against the death of other characters or the harsh realities of living a chola life. It is about a Mexican American family during the late s. The father drinks too much, the mother worries incessantly, and their three children are all at pivotal moments: the older son gets married to a white girl, the middle daughter is involved in the Chicano movement through school, and the younger daughter seems to be on the brink of puberty.
The secret that is disrupting the family is that the father gave his compadre permission to sleep with his wife. The last daughter is a result of this night, and everyone is affected by the secret and shame in one way or another. By the end, the compadre returns asked by the father and further breaks open the issue. It is set east of L. In this fictional town, the pesticides are causing the babies to be born deformed or dead.
She gets around on a motorized cart but is kept inside for most of the play by her mother. Again there is a lot of sexual tension that is put in contrast to the death that seems to follow all of the families. I would like to think through this play more, and they way it uses bodies. At the start of the play, someone is taking the dead babies and fetuses and putting them on crucifixes in the farm fields.
It causes a publicity sensation, but no one knows who is doing it. This seems to be a moment of blessing by everyone, that the fight is necessary, and through the physical representation of the treatment of these people and this town. Additionally, I love Cere.
My work often assumes that most everyone has a body of some kind. She can talk, eat, read, everything that one would expect of a head to perform the obvious logistical concerns are never explained. However, Cere craves to have a body, and she feels she can do this through a sexual experience.
She comes close with the priest but instead of engaging her, he uses her as an object. Like Julie Minich critiques the use of disabled bodies as only sites for failure, I wonder if anyone has read the descriptions of this love and body performing love as limiting — or sees Moraga saying something more with them?
Skip to content. Home About. How to do Things with Words by J. Questions : 1. Share this: Twitter Facebook More Email. Like this: Like Loading This entry was posted in Special Topic , ST: Prose , Uncategorized and tagged bodies , drama , family , female bodies , gender , Mexican Americans , religion , sensuality.
Heroes and Saints and Other Plays: Giving Up the Ghost, Shadow of a Man, Heroes and Saints
Albuquerque: West End Press, Although there is not really a straightforward plot, I find the play making comments on how loving and death are related through different generations of women in and within the U. There is a lot of attention to the connection that lesbian sex has to the sense of self, to religion, and to the land. This seems necessary against the death of other characters or the harsh realities of living a chola life. It is about a Mexican American family during the late s.
Pedagogies of Crucifixion
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