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Volar by judith ortiz cofer summary

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Volatile Judith Ortiz Cofer Judith Ortiz Cofer Judith Ortiz Cofer Judith 3 pages, 735 words There is a setting in every story. The setting of every story is important in order to understand the characters, whether it is in this world or one that is fully fictional. The characters in the following three short stories are influenced by their backgrounds, and they would not be the same if they were not. It’s clear in each story how important the setting is for the reader to fully comprehend the characters and their lives. As a result, when reading these tales, the reader must consider how the setting affects the characters, the challenges that the setting poses, and what the setting reveals about the characters.

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In the story “Volar,” the narrator is a young girl who is dealing with a variety of issues that come with growing up. Some young children may struggle with the fact that they do not have as much control in the world as adults. They are physically smaller than adults and depend on their parents for basic necessities such as food and shelter. The young girl in the story copes with her emotions by imagining herself as an adult superhero. She explains climbing to a high point in their apartment and how her body expands as she ascends. As she climbs, the following quote explains how she feels: “Step by step, I would fill out: my legs would grow long, my arms would harden into steel” (Kraver). She imagines herself as a grown woman with superhuman abilities. Her ascension to a high balcony can be seen as a metaphor as well. People express their determination to overcome whatever obstacles they are confronted with. The girl scaling the stairs is a metaphor for her attempt to rise above her personal problems.

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Judith Ortiz Cofer recalls her childhood experiences in Puerto Rico in the short story “More Space.” Judith traces her childhood memories back to her Mama’s (grandmother’s) house. The house is small, with a simple design, but it is large enough to house all of her children, including the grandchildren. Her grandmother’s room is in the middle of the house and is much larger than the others. She conceives all of her children in the broad Mahogany bed in her bedroom. She asks Grandpa to add an extra room to the main house once she becomes pregnant. Mama even lets her grown daughters into her room when they come to see her for advice on their rocky marriages.
Mama’s room is characterized by a variety of power cryptograms. Instead of lipstick, she has packaged herbs on her dresser. There’s even a steaming cup, which she uses to wake up any snoozer who feels she should sleep past her bedtime. The keys to the wardrobe are hanged on a chaff robe out of sight of Judith and her cousins. Mama’s Bible and Rosary are both prominent icons, suggesting that she is a devout Catholic. Mama’s room is decorated with presents from her children from all over the United States, in addition to authority symbols. Mama occasionally adds to her room because her children carry her several special presents, which she wisely stores in her room when they visit.

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Both Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets” and Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “Volar” use symbolism and unique settings to depict the lives and emotions of two young girls from different cultural backgrounds. Despite the fact that these girls are very different in terms of how they live their lives and how their ethnicity affects them on a daily basis, they both face cultural issues that many people who live in a country other than their own face. Both short stories use similar settings and symbolism to explain two very different challenges that these young girls must deal with as a result of who they are and where they come from. Each story’s setting helps the audience understand why the characters feel, behave, and respond the way they do. The subtle yet strong symbolism used in the stories helps to give the main characters more depth and sense.
Jing- Mei, the narrator of “A Pair of Tickets,” journeys to China for the first time and learns what makes her Chinese. She has assimilated the American way of life and cultures as a result of her upbringing in California. Despite the fact that her parents were both Chinese immigrants and she seemed to be Chinese on the outside, she maintained that she does not feel Chinese on the inside. She has nothing to do with being Chinese at the start of the story and tries her best to stop it, but once she arrives in China, she discovers what it really means to be Chinese and, strangely enough, she feels at ease. Jing- Mei’s journey of self-discovery is paralleled by the environment of China. The setting delves into the Jing Mei’s heritage, place, and ethnic identity in order to give the reader a deeper understanding of her and how it all affects her. The environment, as well as her Chinese relatives, assist her in learning about the essence of being Chinese and lead her to reconsider her heritage. “I re-examine their faces, and they bear no resemblance to my mother. Nonetheless, they seem to be familiar. I can also see how much of myself is Chinese. It is self-evident. It is a member of my family. It runs in our veins” (202). Being in China and being with her family members changes her understanding of culture, allowing her to understand that, despite not living in China, she is Chinese through her origins and family.