Theme In Catch The Moon

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Grief V. Love: The Ultimate Emotional Brawl

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim,” was once written by the author Vicki Harrison. In the short story Catch the Moon, by Judith Ortiz Cofer, the character Luis learns to “swim” with the assistance of the power of love. Cofer creates this story with the underlying message, grief has negative effects on people, however, love has the power to overcome the obstacles created by grief.

Luis is experiencing one of the “overwhelming waves” of grief at this time. Luis’s mother died three years ago from cancer. As a way of coping with his own grief he becomes a part of a group
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Luis is working at the junkyard when a girl around his age drives up to ask for a part for her car. Luis stares off to the side and begins to space out. Luis describes the girl saying, “She stood in the sunlight in her white sundress waiting for his father, while Luis stared. She was like a smooth wood carving. Her skin was mahogany, almost black, and her arms and legs were long and thin, but curved in places so that she did not look bony and hard- more like a ballerina. ... Luis let his breath out, feeling a little dizzy.” This quote illustrates how Luis is lovestruck and how all of Luis’s previous thoughts and worries disappeared for that time period. Cofer uses much more specific words when describing the girl, all of which have a much more positive connotation and create a much more positive mood. This contrasts the pessimistic mood that Luis creates around himself due to the grief from the loss of his mother. Cofer also uses longer sentences to create the illusion that Luis is dreaming about this girl, almost to the point to where she doesn’t seem to be real. This demonstrates the immediate affection that Luis develops, even though there was no interaction between the two. Luis follows his love and meets the girl at her house. After briefly conversing through sign language, Luis returns to the junkyard and begins searching for the part that she requested. Luis
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