In Praise Of Local 100

2156 WordsMar 10, 20179 Pages
“Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100”: A Personal Dedication to the 43 Members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 100 Whenever we hear about major tragic events throughout history that do not affect us personally, the media often chooses to focus on a small group of chosen victims, however, we do not get to hear about those, who were less known to the public. One piece of literature that chooses to focus on such a group of people is “Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100”, which is a poem written by Martín Espada. In his poem, he chooses to write about the 43 employees, who were the members of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100 (which was a division of a United States labor union that represented workers of the…show more content…
First of all, one reason why the purpose of Espada’s poem is to express his admiration can be found in how he chose to address the pride that the members held in their hearts for their home countries. An example of this is Espada’s various references to Puerto Rico, such as the Cape San Juan Light lighthouse in Fajardo, Puerto Rico (“Cape San Juan Light” 1). One reference towards the lighthouse can be found in the fifth stanza of the poem. Throughout most of the stanza, Espada describes the sound and impact of the plane making contact with the North Tower of the World Trade Center, in which the Windows of the World restaurant was located, however, he also described how kitchen stoves were glowed, despite the electricity going out in the kitchen (Espada 45-53). When expressing this, he chooses to use a metaphor to compare the warmth of the stoves to how the lighthouse illuminated the night sea, during the Battle of Fajardo in 1898 (“Battle of Fajardo” 1). He writes “after the night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen, for a time the stoves glow in darkness like the lighthouse of Fajardo” (Espada 50-53). Through his choice to connect the warmth of the stoves in the pitch black kitchen, due to the

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