Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Never Touched Cuban Soil

Journal No. 9
English 48B
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I Chose: Kate Chopin

From "At the 'Cadian Ball"

I. "Calixta's slender foot had never touched Cuban soil; but her mother's had, and the Spanish was in her blood all the same. For that reason, the prairie poeple forgave her much that they would not have overlooked in their own daughters or sisters."

II. Kate Chopin writes of indiscretions that are considered forgivable simply because a woman was born with Spanish blood. She is a "racy" woman who doesn't mind being obvious in her coquettish ways. For this, she is forgiven since she was born into those ways.

III. Calixta is a beautiful cuban woman whose hair is kinked and unkempt. She has brown skin and wears dresses as thin as gauze. Her ears are apparently quite nibble-able (is that even a word?!) and has a contrast of feminine qualities mixed with the wildness of an untamed bronco. Calixta is, essentially, what I believe many women might want to be like. I think that all women are conflicted just a little bit with remaining feminine while maintaining a home or being successful at their career or involving themselves in activities. It is a hard thing to do, to juggle the roles that you partake in while still remaining feminine and sexy. Calixta is able to maintain all of these roles more openly than other women since her brassiness is excused by her family's heritage. So do we still put these stereotypes on women today? Do we "excuse" certain behaviors because of someone's heritage or skin color? I believe that we most certainly do. Today's roles have changed much for both men and women. However, we still do make exceptions for certain types of behavior and/or cultural practices. This is often necessary in living in a multi-cultural society, though. There are definitely negatively-toned instances where people are unfairly treated as though their cultural differences should be used as an excuse for their bad behavior, but for the most part I think that our society (here in the Bay Area) has done a decent job of realizing that different cultures do encounter different behaviors. Has anyone seen Borat? When do those behaviors become acceptable?! :)


Scott said...

20 points. I'm not sure the roles have really changed much, deep down.