How does Menardo rise in status in Almanac of the Dead?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Menardo has risen to the top of the corporate ladder, becoming president of the Universal Insurance company. His meteoric rise has been accompanied by a gradual abandonment of his indigenous heritage. It's as if Menardo has realized that if you're not white, getting ahead in the corporate world requires downplaying...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Menardo has risen to the top of the corporate ladder, becoming president of the Universal Insurance company. His meteoric rise has been accompanied by a gradual abandonment of his indigenous heritage. It's as if Menardo has realized that if you're not white, getting ahead in the corporate world requires downplaying one's racial identity.

Though Menardo describes this process of spiritual alienation from his native heritage, he still willingly participates in it all the same. Each step up the corporate ladder further distances Menardo from his indigenous heritage, to the extent that he becomes transformed into someone and something he isn't.

Menardo's transformation is reflected in a shift in the text from a first-person perspective to the third person. This is because, in giving up his true identity, Menardo's also lost his own distinctive voice. From now on, he can only be talked about in the third person, an indication that he has othered himself by his irresistible rise up the corporate ladder.

Once Menardo has become president of Universal Insurance, the process of colonization is complete. No longer what he once was, he is an artificial construct put together from bits and pieces of dominant white culture that hide, suppress, and marginalize those elements of his indigenous identity which have proved such a burden to him throughout his life.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team