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The Role Of Identity In Gabriel Marquez's Of Love And Other Demons?

Decent Essays
In Gabriel Marquez’ book, Of Love and Other Demons, Marquez portrays the tragedy of a young, neglected girl whose life was heavily impacted by the colonization of her community in Colombia. Bitten by a rabid dog, Sierva Maria de Todos los Angeles’ unnatural condition is entrusted unto the Catholic church, where she meets Father Cayetano Delaura, who aims to save her from an exorcism. Like the community’s efforts to treat her benign bite, Sierva Maria’s identity is ultimately demolished through the community’s impractical treatments that overlook her personal well-being in exchange for their collective satisfaction. By detailing Sierva Maria’s unique characteristics, products of the cultural exchange taking place within her community, Marquez initially raises doubt on the blind, collective belief that identity is obtained with no influence from an individual’s actions. Furthermore, his depiction of Sierva Maria’s treatment based on her cultural adaptation leads Marquez to evaluate the challenges that prevent a society from understanding the factors that influence identity, and ultimately, the consequences of such ignorance. Through the development of Sierva Maria’s deranged family, Marquez delineates a foundation by which to view Sierva Maria’s cultural background. Sierva Maria’s mother, Bernarda Cabrera, is “the daughter of one of [the Marquis’] father’s former overseers who had made a fortune in imported foods” (40). Being “the daughter of an astute Indian and a white
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