Ariel Dorfman’s “Hope” What questions does the story raise in your mind?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Ariel Dorfman's poem, "Hope," from his collection of poetry entitled, "In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land," I have many questions.

The first question that came to mind when I read the first lines (the first time) was how old was the son? My first reaction was that it was a boy, but though it's not impossible, I would think that if these "people" are looking for information, a child would generally (not always) have little to tell.

My second question was where this event took place. The use of the word compañero indicates that it is in a Spanish-speaking country. Dorfman's biography indicates that it could be in Chile, where he and his family have spent a great deal of time. I'd like to know for sure. I'd also like to know when this happened?

I assume that, based upon the author's dedication that the story is about Edgardo Enriquez Sr., his wife, and their son, Edgardo, Jr., which is something I wondered before I read the poem again. What really makes me wonder is: was he still alive eight months later? And was he released and reunited with his family? I wonder where they are now, regardless of what happened, and if they have been able to move on and make any kind of life for themselves.

Lastly, I wonder if Dorfman knew the family personally, or only heard about them, and has he kept in touch?

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