Multicultural Literature: "Poisoned Story"

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Latino culture, specifically Puerto-Rican culture has changed through the course of history. Puerto Rico has witnessed a fusion of races and cultures spanning over many years, starting in 1898, after the Spanish-American war. Ultimately, Puerto Rico was annexed to the United States, the Puerto Rican people made United States citizens with limited restrictions and granted commonwealth status. The changes made during those eras did not come without consequences to the Puerto Rican culture. In "Poisoned Story", author Rosario Ferre depicts the political and economic changing norms and tensions between the social classes of the Puerto Rican's culture. In Ferre's story "Poisoned Story" several major themes are prevalent through the story:…show more content…
Rosaura was the daughter of a once wealthy sugar cane plantation owner named Don Lorenzo. It can be assumed that Rosaura was fairly young at the onset of this story, but old enough to read and attend school. Her mother had recently died (reason is not specified) and her father quickly remarried to Rosa. This young girl loved to read books in a "dense overgrowth of crimson bougainvillea vines" (p.1). It should be noted that the color of crimson and red are repetitively used to describe associations with Rosaura. The red association is first in the flower on vine, then in the bloodlike guava compote which gets spilled on Rosa's dress. The story represents Rosaura as an educated daughter, a part of the "aristocracy" who was described to possess the ability to read in a country where the illiteracy rate was very high. It can be assumed through Puerto Rican history and through the narrative description in the story, that unless you were of the wealthy class, education was not an option: "...she was forced to leave school because of his poor business deals" (p.9). The literacy rate was very poor in Puerto Rico which was a farming country. The characters that were literate in the Poisoned Story also represent the idea of who usually writes history, which is the literate, or the rich. The structure of the story is centered on the narrative theme of the concept "poisoned story". The
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