To begin with, in the novel The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer, the protagonist, Consuelo, is a young woman who must live up to the expectations of her family. Consuelo must comply with the culture tyranny that her family has been following for generations. She must oblige to her own name that means to comfort and console. She is the caregiver of her sister Mili, who needs to be watched constantly. The resistance of her own culture began when Consuelo started to understand that it is not her duty to be submissive to the patriarchy culture of her family and the cultural conditioning that has been laid upon her. Slowly, but drastically her shadow beast started to release its shell and began to flourish as she began to see that she can be create her own. However, before Consuelo’s shadow beast started unraveling they were many instances that were dealing with the struggle of gender identity. Moreover, the essay “The Myth of the Latin Woman” illustrates the effects that Consuelo would experience and see when arriving in the U.S.
During the 1950s, it was a time in Puerto Rico were a lot of people like Consuelo’s parents did not comprehend gender identity and homosexuality, so many families were homophobic. And grew up with the ideology of heterosexism. Consuelo was first introduced to the word fulano when the character Maria was first introduced in the novel. Fulano is “used to refer to the outsider, he or she never called by name” (Cofer, 3). The character Maria Sereno whose real name is Mario Manuel Santiago Sereno was born male. He has a feminine caring voice like a woman and he also dresses like a woman; he “wore tight red pedal pushers and a man’s T-shirt over an obviously empty brassiere” (Cofer, 3). Consuelo saw ho...
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...tion, she’s proficient in English, and she would not scoop to their level. This is the opposite of what a rude person would expect they Consuelo to be a young woman who has no education, speaks broken English, and would be historical when push to the edge.
In the novel The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Consuelo is a young woman who must live up to the expectations of her family. As Consuelo was suppressed by culture tyranny and cultural conditioning she resisted with all her might. She resisted by unleashing her shadow beast once and for all. Also, the instances that made Consuelo deal with gender identity made her more aware that gender means nothing and that one can do what they want regardless of their gender. In addition, the essay “The Myth of the Latin Woman” indicates the effects Consuelo would experience when migrating and arriving in the U.S.
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