Article Review of Menu Girls by Denise Chavez

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Article Review of Menu Girls by Denise Chavez While reading through The Last of the Menu Girls by Denise Chavez, the complexity of the novel made itself evident. There are many different levels to Chavez's novel. The article by Rowena Rivera brought many of those hidden themes and ideas to the surface. The article gives the reader a quick overview of Denise Chavez as an author. Rivera then goes into many of the hidden themes and ideas in the novel, such as the importance of memories. She also goes on to discuss things like the constant interlocking of Spanish and English. Rivera begins her paper by simply giving the reader a list of many of the works Denise Chavez has written during her literary career. It is through this list that the reader realizes that Chavez's passion seems to be directed toward the theater. She has written a large number of plays, especially when compared to the amount of novels she has written. Rivera points out that as a result, Chavez tends to write her novels so that they will have an immediate emotional affect upon her readers, such as in plays or dramas. Rivera goes on to give the reader a brief overview of some other works written by Denise Chavez. She then begins her discussion of The Last of the Menu Girls. The first point Rivera brings up is the role of memories and the passage of time throughout the novel. She states that the seven different stories are held together by the fact that they are all memories and phases of Rocio's life. Each story is an event that took place and a different phase of life that had to be worked through. It is also memories and the passage of time that connect Rocio's family members and friends throughout the novel. Rivera also states that one of t... ... middle of paper ... ...point that Rivera explores is the developing of the identity of Rocio, the protagonist. Rocio, by trying to find her identity, seems to break all the traditional boundaries set for a seventeen year old, Hispanic girls. Rocio is not the typical girl. She is created as an individual who is willing to fight society to discover who she really is. There is a "universality of womanhood" in Rocio. Rocio does what many women aspire to do-search for her true identity. All in all, I think I agreed with Rivera's insights to the novel. She expressed her ideas in a coherent manner. There is one weakness that I saw throughout Rivera's review of Chavez: Rivera failed to sufficiently support some of her ideas. Rivera's review was very useful in uncovering many of the hidden ideas throughout the novel. She brought up many of the important points needed to be discussed.

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