In Ana Castillo's So Far From God, how did Caridad die?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ana Castillo's So Far From God is a delightful blend of English and Spanish idiom and traditions mixed with magical realism and farce that reminds the reader at times of Don Quixote with its long episode titles such as Of the Hideous Crime of Francisco el Penitente, and his Pathetic Calls Heard Throughout the Countryside as His Body Dangled from a Pinnion like a Crow-Picked Pear.

In the narrative, one daughter comes back to life, but despite her "lack of body," she dies of AIDS. Another daughter, Caridad, who learns the art of being a curandera, or healer, goes on a pilgrimage to Chimayo, where she meets a woman named Esmeralda. Experiencing a more tender relationship with her, Caridad falls in love after her horrific experiences with an unfaithful husband, mutilation, and exile. However, her peace and contentment with Esmeralda is interrupted by the village santero, or saint-carver, who begins to stalk her. Caridad is so disturbed by this male harassment that she leaps, along with her beloved Esmeralda, from the heights of Acoma, a pueblo constructed a the pinnacle of a mountain which Spanish conquistadors had failed to take by surprise. Thus, her act becomes symbolic of freedom from "conquest" by the male pursuer, as well as symbolizing her untouchable love for the woman. This action occurs in the episode entitled End of Caridad and Her Beloved Emerald Which We Nevertheless Will Refrain from Calling Tragic (p.121)

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