The Rag Doll Plagues: Textual Analysis

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In Alejandro Morales’ novel The Rag Doll Plagues, the role that Mexicans play in the dominant European culture is explored through the eyes of a seventeenth century Spanish doctor named Gregorio Revueltas. The king of Spain sends him to Mexico so that he might improve the health conditions there and Gregorio obliges, although he is extremely reluctant to leave the civility of his homeland to live in what he considers a filthy and immoral colony. There, he is confronted with a murderous plague that is attacking the Mexican community and sparing no one. Faced with an impossible task, Gregorio is forced to reconsider everything he thinks he knows about life in Mexico. Gregorio initially regards the citizens in Mexico with contempt that makes it clear he believes himself to be better in all aspects in comparison to them. When he first rides through the Main Plaza, he notes…show more content…
The city itself is filthy, with people pouring excrement and urine into the streets and fighting over the carcasses of dead dogs. A woman driven mad by the plague accosts the carriage, begging Father Jude to bless her and her dead child; he acquiesces. The most disquieting thing about the city, however, is the women and children who roam the streets as sex-workers. Gregorio narrates, “Several women approached, exposed their breast and lifted their dresses to show me their genitalia” (28). He also describes children running up to the carriage offering themselves to him explicitly. Although Gregorio is slightly disturbed by these occurrences, he still remains emotionally aloof. The novel’s audience, however, will no doubt be made extremely uncomfortable by the situation, which grates against modern-day morality. The role of women and children, in this scene at least, is relegated to satisfying the carnal desires of men; they are
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