The Crystal Frontier By Carlos Fuentes

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In The Crystal Frontier, Carlos Fuentes presents two of his main characters in much a similar fashion; in Spoils, we find Dionisio is a world-renowned chef and cuisine connoisseur, and also a fervent critic of American cuisine and culture. Dionisio believes that through his country’s chromosomal imperialism, Mexico will be able to solidify its sphere of influence in America; however, when he travels to the United States, he indulges in the same institutions that he ridicules when he lives in Mexico. Similarly, in Pain we encounter the young and aspiring doctor, Juan Zamora. Zamora is an ambitious student who travels to the United States to further his education and learns that successful networking is the way to get ahead in American society. Zamora and Dionisio are both functions of their environment. When they are living in America, they are exhibiting an innate interconnectedness with society, and when they live in Mexico—quite the opposite; Zamora and Dionisio display traditional attributes which are stereotypical to that of the Mexican who lives in solitude. This essay will seek to dissect each character and describe how each utilizes his own respective “Mexican Mask” to acquire what he truly desires, and it will describe how each character’s personality fluctuates simply due to where he is geographically located. Dionisio believes that through Mexico’s “chromosomal imperialism” his country will endure and even spread its cultural influence in the United States

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