"Ciudad Juarez" By Elizabeth Tallent Essay

1855 words - 7 pages

Elizabeth Tallent's short story "Ciudad Juarez" is like a narrative of a trip a young couple takes to Ciudad Juarez. It is not stated in the story why the couple goes to Ciudad Juarez; however it is assumed that they go to Ciudad Juarez just to spend some time with their ten month old son Wills, who is traveling with them. The family travels from Santa Fe, NM in a Subaru car. In the story the mother's name is Nina. She is depicted as a nice young mother that is caring of her child. She makes sure he is well ventilated when they are traveling south on the sizzling desert road. The father, Tom, is a typical male figure who makes decisions on the road and presumably knows where he is headed. He does not need directions when traveling and is depicted as the role figure in the story. Most of the story takes place in Ciudad Juarez when the family is trying to get to the mercado, or the flea market. Tom gets lost because he makes a couple of wrong turns and Nina is forced to ask a young boy riding a bike, for directions. The young boy leads them back to the main street only to find them selves in a traffic jam. Tom feels frustrated and runs over a box of boots owned by a doctor driving a Mercedes. Tom thinks he ran over the boy leading them to the mercado, but luckily it was only a pair of boots. When Tom and Nina get back in the car they discuss what just happened and how Tom felt about the young boy. Tom thought he had killed the boy, which was the first thing in his mind. Nina, on the other hand, thought of her child first, and then the rest of the people around her. Elizabeth Tallent depicts the mother as caring and thoughtful of her child. However, there are some instances in the story and in other Tallent's stories where the women might appear as a motherly figure, when they are not.When reading "Ciudad Juarez" one finds out that Elizabeth Tallent portrays love, conflicts, lust and harsh environment settings in her story. The mother figure in "Ciudad Juarez" is always caring for her twin child Wills. However, later on in the story we find out that when Wills was born, he was born with some problems and spent his first week in neonatal care. The reader is told that Nina does not want to name her child and does not want to touch him. One figures that the love of a mother for her child is incomparable, that a mother will do anything for her child. Here we find out that Nina does not want to touch her child and does not want to name him because this child might pass away. Nina does not want to get attached to her child. One expects a mother to care for her child in any condition; here Nina is just waiting for her child to die. Tallent later writes how Wills makes it trough. Nina, after a week has gone by, decides to touch her baby and hold it on her arms. The baby opens his eyes and starts responding to his surroundings. Here we get the idea that Nina is a hero because she helps the baby open his eyes with the warmth touch of her mother. She names him...

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