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How is the idea of injustice addressed in the novel?

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airair4

Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:56 AM via web

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How is the idea of injustice addressed in the novel?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM (Answer #1)

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One way in which Castillo addresses the idea of injustice in the novel is through her focus on what it means to be a woman in the modern setting.  Castillo suggests that there is an unjust construction of women in how society views women and in how women appropriate this view in the way they see themselves.  For the women in the novel, there is a strict set of social standards and constructions that must be adhered.  Women have to see themselves as wife, mother, or daughter.  Eventually, these roles cause women fundamentally feel trapped because their construction of self as a human being is always at the hands at another.  This embodies injustice because it denies women's voices.

Castillo's work suggests that the key to avoiding this condition of injustice is for women to assert a voice that is not supplanted from something external.  When women appropriate the stifling condition of being as seen as someone's wife, daughter, or child, it limits one's own expression and sense of voice.  This is injustice because the lives being led are not one's own, but rather the externalization of someone else's.  The women in the novel seek to better understand themselves by forging paths apart from the limitations of a socially dictated paradigm.  When women do this in a pure manner and seek to better understand themselves apart from what society says, Castillo suggests there is greater voice evident, and thus a better understanding of self.  It is in here where the novel displays injustice and a path from it. 

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