Asti's AP Lit & Comp 2018-2019 discussion

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Dreaming in Cuban > Question 2: Colliding Cultures

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message 1: by Mrs. Asti (new)

Mrs. Asti | 6 comments Mod
Novels and plays often depict characters caught between colliding cultures - national, regional, ethnic, religious, institutional. Such collisions can call a character's sense of identity into question. Select a moment from Cristina Garcia's novel, DREAMING IN CUBAN, in which a character responds to such a cultural collision. Then in a well organized answer, describe the character's response and explain its relevance to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

Respond to this post using the comment link below. At the top of your post, please include your first and last name.


message 2: by Adriana (last edited Aug 05, 2018 04:48PM) (new)

Adriana Zubizarreta | 12 comments Adriana Zubizarreta
Lourdes cultural identity was questioned when she wanted NOTHING to do with Cuba, or her ethnicity! For example, on the opening day of Lourdes new cafe, she asked her daughter Pilar to paint a picture of something patriotic like the Statue Of Liberty. Lourdes hated El Lider and pretty much dreaded associating herself as Cuban a lot of the times, and hated the fact of her mother Celia Del Pino loved him so much. She threw a picture of him into the Ocean and hates what he has done to Cuba. Another reason Lourdes may not want anything to do with the culture of Cuba may be because of the baby she lost, and problems with rape. That is then why she moved to New York with her daughter because she didn't want her to have that life. Lourdes tried so hard to get rid of her old identity and start new, from becoming an officer to owning bakeries. The relevance between it all is Cuba collided with who she dreamed of becoming and what she ended up believing in.


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 8 comments Amanda Barbon
In the novel Dreaming in Cuban, religion and beliefs are one of the strongest factors in everyone’s life. It was known that Celia was an atheist from the beginning. However, Felicia grew up to be more spiritual and not very similar to Celia’s point of view on religious beliefs. We were informed that Felicia’s best friend’s, Herminia, father was a high priest of Santeria. Automatically, Felicia was forbidden to visit their house, but Felicia went either way. (page. 184) Felicia’s thoughts about Herminia’s father were not negative like her mother’s. As Felicia grew older, her beliefs eventually grew stronger. Before Felicia passed away, she decided to do a ritual with La Madrina to stay pure. She did everything she was supposed to when she arrived home with hope of eliminating the evil. Unfortunately, she was not able to accomplish this and before anything could get any worse, Celia arrived. Immediately, Celia destroyed everything and tore everything apart from the ritual. The response from the gods was Felicia’s death. (page. 189-190) This demonstrates how two strong disbeliefs can tear something or someone apart. However in the ending, Celia does exactly what Felicia wanted for her burying/funeral which included Felicia’s religion.


message 4: by Adriana (last edited Aug 05, 2018 05:52PM) (new)

Adriana Zubizarreta | 12 comments Amanda wrote: "Amanda Barbon
In the novel Dreaming in Cuban, religion and beliefs are one of the strongest factors in everyone’s life. It was known that Celia was an atheist from the beginning. However, Felicia g..."


Adriana Zubizarreta's response
I believe the only reason that Felicia believed in Santeria was that it was a belief that she was exposed to by her best friend, so she stuck to it to continue to hang out with Herminia, and to partially disobey her mother.


message 5: by Sadie (last edited Aug 17, 2018 08:59PM) (new)

Sadie G | 12 comments Sadie Garcia-Praslin
Colliding culture is an idea that is often depicted by characters in novels, plays and Tv media. In Christina Garcia’s novel” Dreaming in Cuban “, one character whose cultures collide is Pilar Puente del Pino. Born in pre-revolutionary Cuba but raised in the culturally diverse city of Brooklyn, New York, Pilar had always struggled with her heritage as a Cuban-American in exile from a country she longs to learn about. In the chapter “Six Days in April” from part three of "Dreaming in Cuban", Pilar and Lourdes travel to Cuba after Felicia’s death, Pilar confesses that after arriving in Cuba, she started “Dreaming in Spanish” (Page 235). This phrase signifies the change that Pilar experiences after coming to Cuba and observing all of its aspects. Pilar believes that returning to Cuba has filled a cultural void she felt was absent all her life. Acknowledging that she now feels complete, Pilar realizes that Cuba despite its beauty, is a place frozen in time and slowly diminishing the rights of its people and their culture. Therefore, even though Pilar does not want to lose her grandmother, Celia, or the peace she finds in Cuba, she knows that eventually, she will have to return to New York, where she knows she belongs.


message 6: by Sadie (new)

Sadie G | 12 comments Adriana wrote: "Adriana Zubizarreta
Lourdes cultural identity was questioned when she wanted NOTHING to do with Cuba, or her ethnicity! For example, on the opening day of Lourdes new cafe, she asked her daughter P..."


Sadie Garcia-Praslin's Response
I believe that Adriana is right about Lourdes wanting to rid herself of what makes her Cuban. As Lourdes immigrated to America she learns to adapt and redefine her self according to American views. She learns the English language and successfully opens two bakeries in New York, she is living the American Dream. The experiences she faced in Cuba shaped her into who she is now.


message 7: by Amanda (last edited Aug 15, 2018 02:30PM) (new)

Amanda | 8 comments Sadie wrote: "Sadie Garcia-Praslin
Colliding culture is an idea that is often depicted by characters in novels, plays and Tv media. In Christina Garcia’s novel” Dreaming in Cuban “, one character whose cultures ..."


Amanda Barbon's response:
I agree with Sadie Garcia's statement. Pilar fell in love with Cuba and it's aspects, being mostly Celia. She created an image for Cuba that she wanted to fulfill before she ran out of time. Everything fell into place for her to finally visit Cuba, Felicia's death, Pilar's spiritual work and the baths. However, when she met Cuba in person, it was then that she realized that her heart just didn't belong where she thought it did. Despite her realization, Pilar was able to find peace with the complication she was living with between New York and Cuba.


message 8: by Andres (new)

Andres Alfaro | 7 comments Andres Alfaro
Pilar questioned her cultural identity many times in the book. She loves punk rock, abstract art, and anything that is rebellious. On page 135 Pilar said, “I like him because he sings about people no one else sings about -drug addicts, transvestites, the down-and-out.” She seems to identify with the outsiders of society. However, her mother Lourdes didn’t agree with Pilar’s rebellious attitude and political views which created collusion and Pilar to wonder where she belonged. Nonetheless, Pilar didn’t care and embraced the attitude of being a punk rocker, a rebel, and an outsider. Pilar believed she belonged in Cuba where her roots were and tried to escape her home in New York. However, in the end, she realized she belonged more to New York than Cuba. Her cultural collision is connected with the theme of the book of being an exile or an outsider since she felt her identity was in Cuba and that she didn’t fit in New York with her mother.


IsabellaVandamas | 6 comments I believe two characters that faced the most cultural identity issues where pilar and her mother Lourdes, Pilar misses her grandmother trying to escape her home going to Florida to try and get to her grandmothers house in Cuba since she loved her more and identified with her grandmother more than her actual mother. Lourdes never wanted the fate Cuba held for her family her thoughts show on page 130 support this “ she never accepted the life designated for the puente women.” She of course misses her birth nation but at the same time hates what her life would have been if she would not have left. Lourdes even tried her hardest to be as patriotic as possible wanting to place a drawing of the statute of liberty in front of her bakery. I think this is the reason why her and her daughter could never get along because of there large identity differences.


message 10: by Felix (new)

Felix Ramirez | 12 comments Felix D. Ramirez

I believe a character who struggles with colliding cultures is Lourdes. Lourdes left Cuba as a young girl and lived most of her life in America. This turned her into a full on American living the American life. Lourdes is from Cuba but does not want to embrace that because her mom who did not love her as a young girl is part of her Cuban culture. This causes her to resent Cuba and the thought of going back. She believes herself to be more American than Cuban which conflicts with her history because all of her family is Cuban. This conflict between her past and present are the main reason as to why the story is first set explaining why she has not gone to Cuba and why she does not want to. Lourdes misses her life in cuba but does not want to go back because of the amount of history with her mother. The death of her sister Felicia was the turning point in her life which with the help of her daughter Pilar caused her to embrace her origin.


message 11: by Felix (new)

Felix Ramirez | 12 comments IsabellaVandamas wrote: "I believe two characters that faced the most cultural identity issues where pilar and her mother Lourdes, Pilar misses her grandmother trying to escape her home going to Florida to try and get to h..."

Felix D. Ramirez
I agree with Isabella on the fact that Lourdes and Pilar are the ones mainly struggling with their conflicting cultures. Both have origins starting in Cuba but different views on it. Lourdes has built a life in America and she is hesitant to go back to Cuba and to get mother. This is not the same with Pilar who wishes she had lived her entire life in Cuba and resents everything that has to do with America. Both have conflicting cultures which effect them as characters throughout the novel.


message 12: by ChedMichael (new)

ChedMichael Barreto | 8 comments ChedMichael Barreto

Herminia Delgado was a character from the novel, Dreaming in Cuban, that was uncertain of who and what to trust around her for being dark-skinned. Although, the people in Cuba do not express any feelings towards a different ethnic group, as said in pages 184-185. Herminia said that the events of the Little War in 1912," killed my grandmother and great-uncles and thousands of other blacks." Her late relatives were dark-skinned as well, but Herminia said that in Cuba's history books it did not mention any blacks. Having to even question the history books emphasizes whether she should trust other people of a different ethnic group. So, Herminia's problem is able to contribute to the novel since segregation plays a big part in other characters' lives whether it is from a religious, ethnic, or political perspective.


message 13: by Melina (new)

Melina Caballero | 12 comments Melina Caballero

Pilar spent most of the novel questioning her cultural identity. As a descendant of Cubans, she felt as if she belonged in Cuba rather than New York. Through the spiritual connection she had with her grandmother, Celia, Pilar dreamed to experience Cuba. Pilar had hated her life in New York, mostly due to the fact that her mother was overbearing. Pilar wondered many times where she belonged and what was her identity. She felt that if she went to Cuba she would finally be were she belonged. In the chapter "Six Days In April", Pilar finally visits Cuba and sees its not what she hoped for. She must return to New York because its where she belongs. She says, "...it's where I belong- not instead of here, but more than here' (page 236). Pilar's journey in discovering her identity plays a big part in the story and it connects to the novel's theme of exile, which many other characters experience as well.


message 14: by Melina (new)

Melina Caballero | 12 comments ChedMichael wrote: "ChedMichael Barreto

Herminia Delgado was a character from the novel, Dreaming in Cuban, that was uncertain of who and what to trust around her for being dark-skinned. Although, the people in Cuba ..."


I agree that with you about Herminia. Herminia had grown up around people who didn't agree with her skin color or her religion. She had a hard time coming to terms with herself and through the help of Felicia, her best friend, she was able to look past those who were scared of her because of her religion.


message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan B. | 12 comments Jonathan Bejarano
Pilar and her mother Lourdes were one of the main cultural collisions that occurred in the book. As their age difference contributed a big factor to this collision, their beliefs and personalities clashed as well. Lourdes was more stubborn and not able to see other peoples views on things. Pilar even says on page 176, "Maybe it's that wondering of her eyes. It makes her see only what she wants to see instead of what's really there." Pilar was more of an explorer, she wanted to experience music and art and embrace the world around her. Her mother was very straightforward when it came to her beliefs, not allowing Pilar to explore the world in peace. To combat this, she first fled to Florida, which turned out to be a failure. At the time, Pilar was still finding her "inner self" or her identity, to help find herself, she went to college. A college that specialized in what she enjoyed, which was art. Her passion for art impacted her relationship with her mother. Her mother saw this passion and finally supported Pilar, this is a big moment and impacted the book. This shows that throughout all the yelling and disagreeing during the whole book, they still loved each other, which gives a theme of family and the bonds it contains.


message 16: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan B. | 12 comments IsabellaVandamas wrote: "I believe two characters that faced the most cultural identity issues where pilar and her mother Lourdes, Pilar misses her grandmother trying to escape her home going to Florida to try and get to h..."

I agree with Isabella on the reason why they never got along. Their identities were completely different which caused them to clash. I also think that the age difference also plays a role in their differences, as Lourdes has been through a lot of sensitive situations than Pilar, causing her to have different views on things. Almost making everything about the things that have happened to her.


message 17: by Paolo (new)

Paolo Soto | 3 comments A character that was faced with a whole full on collusion of cultural identity is Lourde. She herself denied everything about Cuba, she hates the violence even the account of her rape, so she forgets about her ties in the Cuban culture. Lourde instead assimilates with the American culture. Starting by moving to Miami then to Brooklyn, where she basically lives out the "American Dream" opening two bakeries and learning English. Lourde is not like the rest of her family who is all about cuba causing tension with her daughter, Pilar, this causes Pilar to think the complete opposite of her mother. Lourde's denying of Cuba sparks a longing for Pilar to see Cuba. Yet again one's characters actions affects the others, Lourde does not culturally identify with Cuba at all.


message 18: by Kamari (new)

Kamari Dawson | 5 comments Kamari Dawson
Pilar is a character that faces a lot of cultural identity issues. Having fled from Cuba with her mother as a toddler, Pilar lacks the feeling of belonging to her country. She grows up to be a Cuban woman in New York which is not surprising due it being so diverse. To others, she may just be another ingredient to America’s melting pot of people chasing the America dream. However, Pilar doesn’t feel this way. She feels like she doesn’t belong in America. Well not really belong but more like she feels like she doesn’t fit in. Furthermore, she believes she can’t identify as Cuban because Pilar does not know very much about her native country. For example, on page 137, It shows that Pilar does not like going to the holiday parades. This could be due to her feeling like she does not belong to the American culture seeing as Thanksgiving is an American holiday. All in all, It’s evident that Pilar struggles to find her cultural identity in Dreaming in Cuban.


message 19: by Anabel (new)

Anabel | 12 comments Anabel Guerrero
In Cristina Garcia’s “Dreaming in Cuban”, a character who went through cultural collision was Pilar. Pilar was born in Cuba, but then moved to New York and raised there. It is seen throughout the whole story how Pilar felt attached to Cuba, and always had an encourage in her to return to her grandmother. At one point of the story Pilar even tried to run away from her parents and escape to Cuba on her own. This feeling went to extent of when Pilar has intimate moments with her significant other, they had to speak in Spanish. When her aunt Felicia passed away, Pilar and her mother went to Cuba, finally giving Pilar what she wanted. After staying there for a while, Pilar finally realized that though her family is in Cuba, she does not belong there. “...sooner or later I’d have to return to New York... I know now it’s where I belong,” (Garcia). She understands that though she was born in Cuba, her rights will eventually be taken away there, and her whole life and future is back in New York with her parents.


message 20: by Anabel (new)

Anabel | 12 comments Andres wrote: "Andres Alfaro
Pilar questioned her cultural identity many times in the book. She loves punk rock, abstract art, and anything that is rebellious. On page 135 Pilar said, “I like him because he sings..."


I like how you brought the American culture into this and not only Cuban. Your response really focuses on how deep down, though she believed she belonged in Cuba, Pilar truly was an American which brings her to realize she belongs in New York.


message 21: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Gonzalez | 4 comments Ashley Gonzalez
In the novel, ‘Dreaming in Cuban’, one of the most present form of culture is religion. In Cuba, Santeria is very common so a lot of people practice it. A moment where a character responds to a cultural collision would be when Felicia, a believer and a santera, is in her death bed and Celia (who doesn’t believe in Santeria) claims that the babalaos are all murderers and that they’ve killed her daughter. Celia destroyed everything and held her daughter until she took her last breath. This collusion is relevance to the work because Celia always warned Felicia about that religion, which showed how Celia tried to protect her daughter from the dangers of Santeria.


message 22: by Dacia (new)

Dacia (xodacia) | 8 comments Kamari wrote: "Kamari Dawson
Pilar is a character that faces a lot of cultural identity issues. Having fled from Cuba with her mother as a toddler, Pilar lacks the feeling of belonging to her country. She grows u..."


I like Kamari's take into this response, his way of molding the American dream into his answer is brilliant.


message 23: by Dacia (new)

Dacia (xodacia) | 8 comments Dacia Ochoa

When Lourdes del Pino moved to the Unites States, she had no problem learning the language and adopting the American culture, Pilar, however, had trouble adjusting completely. Pilar struggles to adapt because she doesn’t feel like she belongs, she doesn’t feel like its her home. Lourdes’ daughter has this rigid attachment to her home country and the memories she left behind. Around the middle of the novel, Pilar attempts to run away and go to Cuba but doesn’t get to so, this failed attempt instead makes her more willing to go to Cuba. Eventually, when Pilar’s aunt Felicia dies, she get to visit Cuba, she gets to discover whether or not she belongs, and she does- Pilar realizes that although Cuba will always be apart of her because her relatives reside there, she belongs in New York because “[she] resent[s] the hell out of the politicians and the generals who force events on [them] that structure [their] lives, that dictate the memories [they’ll] have when [they’re] old. Every day Cuba fades a little more inside [her], [her] grandmother fades a little more inside [her]. And there's only [her] imagination where [their] history should be,” (Garcia, pg. 128) Pilar’s visit to Cuba led her to realize that she wanted to be free to make memories in a place she could call home, and Cuba wasn’t it.


message 24: by Kaleb (new)

Kaleb Joseph | 4 comments In Dreaming In Cuban a prime example of colliding cultures is shown through Loudres. After moving to New York and starting her own bakery, Loudres wanted to start a new life and planned on never returning back to Cuba. Her daughter Pilar though, could not adjust to the lifestyle and wanted to return home. While in New York Pilar had an odd relationship with Celia and she felt she connected with her grandmother. Although times were tough in Cuba Pilar wanted to return home despite the freedom she had in America. After returning to Cuba Pilar realized she belongs more in New York where her original roots began.


message 25: by Kaleb (new)

Kaleb Joseph | 4 comments In Dreaming In Cuban a prime example of colliding cultures is shown through Loudres. After moving to New York and starting her own bakery, Loudres wanted to start a new life and planned on never returning back to Cuba. Her daughter Pilar though, could not adjust to the lifestyle and wanted to return home. While in New York Pilar had an odd relationship with Celia and she felt she connected with her grandmother. Although times were tough in Cuba Pilar wanted to return home despite the freedom she had in America. After returning to Cuba Pilar realized she belongs more in New York where her original roots began.


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