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“The Rain God”: Repression Within The Angel Family

1496 words - 6 pages

Family is one of the most important institutions in society. Family influences different aspects of a person’s life, such as their religion, values, morals and behavior. Unfortunately, problems may arise when an individual’s belief system or behavior does not coincide with that of family standards. Consequently, individuals may be forced to repress their emotions or avoid acting in ways that that are not acceptable to the family. In the novel The Rain God, written by Arturo Islas, we are presented with a story about a matriarchal family that deals with various conflicts. One major internal conflict is repression. Throughout the novel the characters act in strange ways and many of the family members have internal “monsters” that represent the past that they are repressing. In his article, “The Historical Imagination in Arturo Islas’s The Rain God and Migrant Souls”, Antonio C. Marquez’s implicitly asserts a true idea that The Rain God is a story about repression. Marquez’s idea can be supported from an analysis of secondary sources and a reading of the primary text.
In his article, Marques implicitly argues that The Rain God is story about repression. His idea is expressed through the historical imagination, which Marquez describes as the recreation of the “burden of history”, which represent the past of the characters that has caused their repression. Their past has become a burden because the Angel family cannot break away from the repression their history is creating. In his article, the idea of the historical imagination can be seen in the following, “The role of the commentator is given to Miguel Chico an inner historian who recalls, recasts, assesses, and seeks an understanding of events from his family history”. This quote shows how Miguel Chico tries understand why his family, including himself repress the past in the novel. In serving as an inner historian, he comes to find that many of his family relatives including himself possess inner “monsters”. Furthermore, his idea of repression can be seen as he writes, “False consciousness . . . forms a repression of history and places a character . . . in a blind zone”(76). Marquez expresses this idea to show the state in which many of characters in the novel are. The “blind zone” and “false consciousness” that Marquez is describing illustrates the repression technique the characters are employing to repress the unwanted. In culmination, because Miguel Chico serves as n inner historian for his family, he is led to discover that his family possesses “monsters”, which meaning varies from character to character. Consequently, from secondary sources it will be seen that the “monsters” represents the repression of the characters, which asserts the idea that The Rain God is a story about repression.
From secondary sources, the idea of Marquez that The Rain God is a story about repression can be supported. First, in the article, “Arturo Islas’s The Rain God: An Alternative Tradition,” Marta E....

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