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The Perfect Love Unable To Attain Liberation From The Past

1607 words - 7 pages

Not everyone in the world is lucky enough to meet people similar to oneself. These people can help a person grow and change one’s outlook on life, as well as help to define who they are inside. Sometimes these people are not those who are considered conventional protagonists and instead exist only to play the roles of a villain, with qualities that are not very noble. Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner is a story about occupied Cuba during the 1960s when the Americans were thrown out of the country by Fidel Castro and his revolutionary followers. Amidst the high class society life of the Americans in Nicaro and the rebel revolution in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra an “exotic” dancer, ...view middle of the document...

Before Rachel K and La Maziere have ever spoken, and instead only seem to silently acknowledge the other’s presence, the author describes how Maziere feels about her, “…but while the other men watched her with awe…he’d immediately seen something he was sure they could not. She’d gauzed her person in persona, but he sensed the person slipping through, person and persona in an elaborate tangle.” (55). La Maziere easily pinpoints Rachel’s change of characters, something Rachel believes only she can see in herself and understand. One of Rachel K’s favorite things to do is lie in bed with the covers off, until she gets too cold and has to pull them up again, Maziere immediately understands that she does this to feel warmth because those moments are among the few in her life where she is able to feel warmth not created by her occupation. Most of the time Rachel K does not understand how much La Maziere is analyzing her, although she analyzes him herself and through the book, the similarities in their characters become more apparent.
Rachel K and La Maziere share similar traits that are partly because of their own personal histories. Both Rachel K and La Maziere consider places, that others would call prisons, to be their home. Brought to Cabaret Tokio at age thirteen, Rachel K considers the club her home and the author describes it as “…[a] kind of a mother to her. It gave her life shape…and never sent her fretting over imagined alternatives, she was free in a way other girls weren’t,” (62). For Rachel K the club is her sanctuary and for others it could be considered a spot of shame or hell. Like Rachel K, La Maziere’s place of comfort is an unconventional one. Maziere finds his niche while at war and a part of a revolution. Although, he does not enjoy celebrating a win on his side of a revolution, he finds his happiness in the battles on and behind the lines. Because of where they have found their homes, both characters have grown up distrusting and constantly analyzing the characters of those around them. For example, when Maziere first begins to visit Club Tokio, he analyzes not only Rachel K but the bar tender, the other dancers and all those who also visit the club. Rachel K also does her own analyzing, mostly of her clientele, and seems to study those people to find out who they really are. Some of Rachel K and La Maziere’s shared characteristics are not only visible to the reader but to the characters themselves. One of their shared characteristics, their adept ability to change characters, is referred to by Rachel K during a visit from La Maziere where thinking to herself she says, “He seemed to have an arsenal of these performances. Not unlike her own performances, for which there were as many scripts and stages as there were reasons and effects”, (207) believing that much of the way he behaves towards her is an act. La Maziere and Rachel K share many similar traits because of their backgrounds, but La Maziere moves out of their shared...

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