The author writes that when she was twelve, she used to love reading comic books. Her favorite was Supergirl, which used to influence her dreams. She would dream that she was Supergirl, running up to the top floor of her building and transforming into the comic book character with every...
The author writes that when she was twelve, she used to love reading comic books. Her favorite was Supergirl, which used to influence her dreams. She would dream that she was Supergirl, running up to the top floor of her building and transforming into the comic book character with every step, then jumping off the roof and flying. She would fly around the city, looking at people and places that interested her. She found that she could program these dreams by focusing on whatever she wanted the subject to be. She would dream about their landlord counting his money, their neighbors, her teachers and, in later years, boys she liked.
When she woke up, her mother and father would be talking quietly in the kitchen. They woke her 45 minutes after they got up, but liked to have the beginning of the day to themselves. Her mother would often try to persuade her father to take the family on a vacation to Puerto Rico, but he would say it was too expensive to fly there. Her mother would look out of the window at the alley full of garbage, then check the time on a clock which had on it "a prayer for patience and grace written in Spanish." Before she went in to wake her daughter, she said out loud, in Spanish, that she wished she could fly.
Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “Volar” is the story of a familial wish. Told in two separate parts, it follows the desire of both the young Judith and her mother to fly.
Judith spends all day wishing she had superpowers, so much so that when night comes along, she begins to dream as if she does. She has dreams that she is Supergirl and can fly and see other people—like her landlady, who she assumes is very wealthy and well dressed—living their lives.
When Judith awakes, she overhears her parents talking for quite a while. During their conversation, her mother expresses her desire to return to Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, they don’t have the money to go even for a visit. Saddened by her separation from her homeland, Judith's mother wishes aloud that she could fly.
"Volar," a short essay by Judith Ortiz Cofer, tells the story of a mother and daughter who both dream of escape in the form of flying. The story begins in the mind of twelve-year-old Judith, who fantasizes about being a superhero and flying through the sky unfettered. At night, Judith dreams about being someone like Supergirl who could fly around the world and see the lives of people all around her. When she wakes, her mother's story takes over.
Her mother wishes she could return to Puerto Rico. As she and Judith's father talk, he says that they don't have enough money, but her mother still pines for her homeland. At the close of the story, her mother sighs deeply and says, "Ay, si yo pudiera volar" ("Oh, if only I could fly"), echoing her daughter's sentiments.
"Volar" is an essay by Judith Ortiz Cofer that discusses her dreams of flying and relates it to her mother's desire to fly to Puerto Rico with her family for a vacation. Both mother and daughter dream of flying—though one wants to fly like Supergirl and the other wants a more tangible method of flight.
Judith dreams of flying like Supergirl every night when she sleeps. She says that when she was 12, she loved comic books and this led her to a recurring dream where she could fly. In those dreams, her looks mirrored those of the hero she idolized. She imagined she could see into the lives of the people she knew—like her landlord who she imagined in an ermine coat and crown.
In the morning, she wakes and hears her parents spending the first 45 minutes of their day together. Judith stays in bed and thinks of flying to let them have that time together. They often discuss her mother's desire to return to Puerto Rico for a visit; her father says they can't afford it. When she hears that they cannot go, Judith's mother looks out the window and says, "Oh, if only I could fly."
Judith Ortiz Cofer uses “volar,” Spanish for “to fly,” in two ways. In the first section, the New York girl dreams of being Supergirl: she wants to fly and have the strength of a superhero. She also wants to be blond, but she is dark; she would like breasts too, but she is still too young. Her family is Puerto Rican, and they live in a crowded apartment in a busy urban neighborhood.
In the second part, her mother wants to fly in an airplane back to Puerto Rico to visit. This is not going to happen either, at least not right away; her father keeps repeating that the family does not have enough money for the trip. Together, these two uses of “fly: imply fantasies and unfulfilled hopes and dreams.