Soledad Character Analysis

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In the novels, We The Animals by Justin Torres and Soledad by Angie Cruz the narrators’ relationship to men is influenced by the behavior and interactions with their families. The role that men play in the life of the unnamed narrator in We The Animals is based around his coming to terms with his sexuality, and how his sexuality makes him an outsider within his family. Likewise, in the novel Soledad, the titular character’s perception of men is shaped by not only her family, but also Dominican culture. Similarly, Soledad like the narrator from We The Animals is also an outsider in her family because she is distant and she is pursing higher education.
The narrator from We The Animals is shown a gay, pedophilic pornographic film at a young age
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The men she ignores are the men from Washington Heights: “…when potbellied, sockless men and pubescent homeboys call me mami, as if I’ll give them the time of day if they stare at me long enough, I know I must keep moving forward” (Cruz 3). The men described don’t accurately portray Dominican male culture, but these are the men that Soledad describes when she first arrives home, and they are the men that she does not want to interact or end up with. The men in Soledad’s family get taken care of by women (Victor and her grandfather), beat their wives (Manolo), or leave their wives (Raful). Soledad’s description of the men from page 3 can then be interpreted as her internalizing and subjecting the behavior of the men from her life onto the neighborhood men from Washington Heights. “I can’t imagine having children. I can’t even imagine having a relationship. Caramel says it’s because I’m always falling for artists. That’s my biggest mistake. She also thinks that I have problems with men who remind me of the men in my family. Maybe you’re afraid that you will end up like your mother” (Cruz 63) is the instance in which Soledad really opens up about her feelings in regard to the relationship she has with men. She willingly falls for artists and aims to avoid men who remind her of the men in her family. Because Soledad has problems with men who remind her of her family, it is safe to say that she does not want to repeat the cycle that she has escaped. The role that her family plays in this situation is that they have brought her back home when she was determined to stay
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