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Mercedes Benz 220 SL By Rosario Ferré

The story is told retrospectively and jumps from past to present according to the memories of the mother, for what she does alludes to the process of remembering since she is narrating as she remembers what has happened. In the story, for the father, the Mercedes was his portal to a divinity that took him towards a kind of ecstasy that made him transcend the human, transporting him to the beyond. Many people see consumption as a takeoff from reality and make this a ritual to be able to escape from everyday life. Others, like the characters in the story, have adopted consumption as something habitual, and this has become a kind of “god” for them.

The rain represents the filth and the cochambrera of the society (—. 1991). It acts as the dividing line between the high and low cultures but also exercises as the space in which both societies converge. We could say that, yes, the family reflects the current Puerto Rican political class since they carry out negative actions without following the consequences like many of the current politicians of the island. Many politicians on the island abuse their power to undertake acts of corruption, such as money laundering and embezzlement; the majority of these politicians are never caught. We do not necessarily know if the protagonists were not corrupt (this is not the argument) but rather the fact that they managed to get away with his after committing a crime (Ferré 1980).

She realized that today, the woman would sit tight again throughout the day for her child without much of any result. She could nearly observe her inclining out the front entryway for the hundredth time, looking down the vacant road at the short row of houses as the sun rose in the sky, making the walls seem more solid and heavily shadowed. (She put her hand in the water and carefully rinsed out the cup and saucer). She could almost hear her say. I must not stress; this Sunday resembles some other Sunday, and he is only later than common. (For a while, the girl went on looking through the window at the lush garden). The woman left the doorway and sat on the edge of her bed. It is motivated to get agitated; he will come one week from now if he does not come today, she said to herself aloud, as her eyes wandered to the bedspread (—. 1991).

I remember the time when I was still a teenager; I felt that everything that I did was under the guidelines of my parent’s strict rules. I always felt helpless in every decision that I made. It seemed that I had to obey the rules because I had to repay the hard work that my parents had to endure to put me through school and by providing the essentials of growing up. Like “mother” in the short story “Mercedes Benz 220 SL” by Rosario Ferre, I felt that my young experience resembled a detainment that I endured for as long as I can recall (Ferré 1980).

In the short story “Mercedes Benz 220 SL” by Rosario Ferre, the character of “Mother” is hitched to a materialistic and possessive spouse known as “Father.” She had nothing to anticipate before she was hitched, and one might say she did not have anything. She had little influence in the community. One Sunday evening, while the couple was out for a cruise in their German, they made the car close to home. They encountered an accident that would leave wounds and guilt that were deep enough to replay the wounds that were left by her son.

Mother was the type of wife who would put her husband on a pallet and support them like the rigid structure of the Mercedes 220 SL in the story. She is imprisoned under her own will. It seemed incoherent at first, but knowing where she came from and what she has right now, it is well worth the imprisonment and mental constraints that came with marriage. Mother knew what kind of relationship she was in all along (Ferré 1980).

While Marina takes us over the best of a romance book, Ferré successfully utilizes a plain, obvious reality tone in “Mercedes Benz 220SL” to expose the consequences of human childishness, numbness, and voracity. “Mercedes Benz 220SL” starts as a discussion between an upper white-collar class man and spouse who feel they have finally made it as they gladly share a ride in their new Mercedes Benz. Then they murder somebody with the vehicle; however, they are much shielded now from this present reality they drive through to try to associate with the frightfulness and agony that they have left afterwards. Huge, bombastic autos also have an extreme American esteem. They remain for the slight feeling of energy that individuals endeavour to buy when they feel small significance in their life and work. Individuals who have a genuine feeling of dissatisfaction with life attempt to cover it with steel and head out with speed and power so they do not need to feel any of the certain circumstances they find disagreeable or confused (—. 1991).

American women ought to make the most of Ferré’s horrible feeling of retaliation, uncovering man-controlled society, avarice, ineptitude and sexual abuse in numerous structures in an underhanded and dishy way. These stories cross societies while regarding their own particular captivating and one-of-a-kind place. I am much obliged to you, Rosario Ferré, for bringing your clever and well-reversed Puerto Rican stories to this Midwestern peruser. Maybe, as women have been compared to dolls everywhere throughout the world, we want to pay a visit to the “brilliantly genuine” to meet the dolls of these pages. His behaviour can easily be considered brutal and ruthless: the doctor is not minimally concerned about the financial situation of the woman and steals money from the aunt to improve his finances and assure a favourable future for his son (Ferré 1980). This is an important point that Ferré has described in this story, Mercedes Benz 220 SL, in which she states her worry and critique toward a society completely divided: on one side, there is a wealthy society that keeps upgrading its status, but on the other, we face a poor class, which is only exploited by the aristocracy.

It is very interesting to observe how the mentioned character has already been described in the past by another author. This character often appears in literature and psychoanalysis as a representation of what is repressed. Using Marcel Mauss and Levi-Strauss’ theories, Clement states that what is repressed is usually set aside in an “imaginary zone.” It exists in the cultural unconscious, but it has to be repressed and excluded. Thus, the sorcery and the hysteria become symbols of a repressed past, whose expression is channelled through the woman. She changes into an extraordinary subversive potential: the “bruja” (witch) knows how to treat, she favours illicit love, and she is also very independent. For this reason, she has often been excluded by society because she is considered different and mysterious and has an incomprehensible knowledge that scares people in her community. The hysteric woman embodies the reminiscence of the past, she breaks the rules, and incites chaos. Both of them represent the anti-rational, anti-hierarchical, and the repressed impetus.

The reason Ferré decides to focus on this specific topic is because her prose fiction moves between two main factors. The first element reflects the affirmation of the powers of the marginalized women (a positive aspect related to sorcery) that we can see in the story. The second is a concept that describes the “island destiny” as a product of a permanent lethargy and frustration (negative aspect), as in When Women Love Men. The woman becomes a paradox: she is a victim and enemy of herself, as René Marques considers her in his book Los Soles Truncos. What is shown in both texts corresponds to a subtext of postponed rage and bitterness. How should it be interpreted? Is it a vision that looks back to the past or points to the future?

It can be considered ambivalence between a past with strong values and an unknown future. These ambiguities demonstrate how Ferré faced the problem of the women in her country. The “avatars” in her novel turn into global archetypes and are used as symbols of power and change. The reason I decided to analyze this novel by Rosario Ferré is because I want to provide a different interpretation that, so far, has not been deeply investigated. My goal is to show the importance of these two characters, the witch and the hysteric, and how Ferré assigns them a specific role that readers can clearly see as they perform in their society. Ferré wants to create a connection with the reader by utilizing specific people and assigning explicit roles to each one of them. She does not avoid delicate subjects such as cruelty, vulgarity and violence, but she offers new ways to interpret the reality she lived, and she invites her readers to follow her during this tortuous trip.


—. The Youngest Doll. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991. Print.

Ferré, Rosario. “La cocina de la escritura.” Sitio a Eros. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1980. 13-33. Print.



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