Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing

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Stories and memories passed on through generations can help to shape an individual. In many instances, storytelling can tell a lesson or push a person’s opinion about something in a certain direction. Memories can sometimes be unreliable, but can also be all that someone can base their life off of. Judith Ortiz Cofer’s memoir Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican childhood uses storytelling to share her memories in a life lesson manner. She takes the reader on a journey through her memories and childhood and uses her memory as a main tool. Memory and storytelling is an important aspect of Silent Dancing, because they helped to shape the author, told lessons to the reader, and explained a life tied between Puerto Rican and American.…show more content…
Whether it comes from a memory that Cofer shares or a story that Mama tells, there is a hidden meaning for each story. At the beginning there is the story of Maria la loca, a women who was left at the alter by a man who lied and deceived her. The story was told by Mama while Cofer was a small child listening to the grownups talk. The story is told because Cofers’ Aunt Laura is going to get her wedding dress hemmed, but she does not even know if or when the wedding will take place. Mama describes the story in a way that catches each of the characters attention. Cofer writes “Mama put each of us in Maria’s place by describing her wedding dress in loving detail: how she looked like a princess in her lace as she waited at the alter” (Cofer 20). This puts each of the characters and even the reader in the place of Maria, as she stands at the alter and gets her heart broken. The story tells the reader that they do not want to be in Marias shoes, so they must be careful and cautious with men and who they choose to be their husbands. The story of Maria la loca is an example of letting love control who you want to become. Love is the reason Maria becomes an

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