Imagery And Themes In Roberto Bola単o's 'Amulet'

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Roberto Bolaño’s Amulet is a carefully intertwined story of Auxilio’s past and present: the memories of a woman amidst the revolutionaries of Mexico, and a woman’s fight for sanity as she remains in the women’s bathroom in the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) during its occupation. The occupation began on September 18, 1968, was followed by the Tlatelolco massacre on October 2, 1968, in which a peaceful student protest ended with the army shooting in the crowd (Doyle). Roberto Bolaño creates a memoir of these protesters via the narration of Amulet, utilizing a manipulation of time and structure, imagery pertaining to loss of teeth and voice, and themes of death associated with the imagery of valleys. Bolaño seamlessly jumps between …show more content…

There are several images with this theme. It begins with Auxilio, as “no sound at all came out of [Auxilio’s] mouth” (55). This suggests that after the loss of the student martyrs, the people lost their voice of protest. Furthermore, it was “realized that [she] was pronouncing incoherent syllables… As if [she] had suddenly become demented” (153). Bolaño proposes that not only was the movement suppressed, but with “incoherent” implies that it was unrecognizable, so that those who tried to maintain it were seen as “demented.” To Bolaño, it was “unnatural that [the students] should be quiet for so long” (178). The movement had quieted after the massacre, and in Bolaño’s opinion, the people should have spoken out. Through this, Bolaño suggests the need for the people to remember the story and tell it. Auxilio states that she is “the only one who can tell the story” (79). Later Auxilio “woke up. [she] thought: I am the memory” (174). Bolaño conveys the need for the Mexican people to remember and share the events of the tragedy at UNAM through Auxilio and her thoughts. This “legend was borne on the winds of Mexico City, the winds of 1968; it went among the dead and the survivors” (176). And because the dead had lost their voice, it was on the survivors to tell the

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