How does La Loca help her sisters?

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Ana Castillo's novel So Far From God is an interesting example of the magical realism genre and a fine example of a novel that circumvents the Latino patriarchal society through extraordinary events.

The story chronicles the lives of Sofia and her four daughters, Esperanza, Caridad, Fe, and the youngest, called La Loca. La Loca is so named because she died at age 3 and during her funeral, awoke, rose from the casket, and flew to the roof. This caused all the villagers of Tome to view her as La Loca Santa, and they sought her out to receive blessings, etc. But she couldn't stand the smell of people and would only allow her mother to touch her, so she became quite reclusive, and as a result, Santa was dropped from her name by most people.

The primary way that La Loca helps her sisters is to pray for them. When Caridad is brutally attacked by what the family believes to be a malogra (a supernatural being akin to a demon) La Loca prays for her (La Loca says she prayed hard) and Caridad's disfiguring wounds are healed and she is whole once again as though the attack never happened. Also, after she recovers from the fever, she has clairvoyant powers.

La Loca also prays "hard" for Fe at this time. Fe was about to marry her love named Tom when he wrote her a "Dear Juana" letter and told her he couldn't marry her. Fe responds by screaming and wailing inconsolably and without ceasing. When La Loca prays, Fe stops her wailing, which had gone on for a long time prior to that and made the villagers think she was crazy. Fe just stops and returns to normal as a result of La Loca's prayers.

La Loca helps Esperanza by being in touch with the spiritual world. When Esperanza dies in Saudi Arabia (presumably, although her body wasn't found) La Loca speaks with La LLorana to whom she has spoken since her childhood, and finds Esperanza's spirit. La LLorana is a legend of a woman who lost her children and roams the earth as a result. It is more than a legend to Latino people—they believe in her existence. La Loca's contact with her helps Esperanza find her family from beyond the grave.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 31, 2019
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