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The Love Demon, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 616

Reaction Paper

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins with the author recalling a legend she heard about a young girl being bitten by a rabid dog. The memory is brought on by the report that many crypts have been robbed of bodies. Officials found the skull of a young girl whose hair continued to grow after her death.  The young girl’s name was Sierva and she had been raised by women in the slave quarters. The girl was deemed wild and unruly. Because the girl has been bitten, it is assumed that she will die. However, she seems to be fine for some time. Later she develops a low grade fever. Her father begins sending her to faith healers and witch doctors to no avail. A local bishop hears of the ordeal and sends for the father to bring the girl to him. Garcia uses this novel to convey the affects of Colonialism by all who encountered it.

One aspect of Colonialism is the break-down of families. The family structure in this novel is dysfunctional by all aspects. First, the young girl is given away by her biological because she is unloved and unwanted.  Her mother is a drug addict with an addiction so bad that her family ties a bell around her to keep up with her whereabouts. Sierva is in the midst of the dysfunction because she does not fit in with either society. She is white, but being raised by slaves. The father develops an intolerable fear of animals after Sierva is bitten. Sierva is being raised in the midst of several cultures, which symbolically represents the effects of Colonialism on those who encounter it. The confusion and lack of belonging is the same characteristics for others who are the product of Colonialism.

Another aspect of Colonialism is the break-down of society. Any person that behaved in any way differently from the societal norm was deemed deviant. In some cases being a deviant was connected with possession.  Sierva is not possessed, she is merely functioning on the teachings she has received from her slave parents and probably suffering from rabies.  She is also dealing with the feelings of rejection and isolation due to her parents’ abandonment. The objective of Colonialism was to change people and humanize them according to Christian belief. However, in the processes of this change, many cultures were negatively affected. Many of those who practiced the teachings Colonialism felt that anyone not practicing Christianity was sub-human.

A final teaching of Colonialism was the repression of feelings and emotions. Although in prison, Sierva is feeling love and connection for the first time. The love that Cayetano has for Sierva is forbidden by Colonial society and religion. First of all, there is a great age difference between Cayetano and Sierva. He is actually old enough to be her father.  Secondly, from a religious perspective, how could a religious man be attracted to someone possessed by demons? That would be the ultimate conflict of interests. When Sierva is unable to see him and be with him, the loss of love is what eventually kills her.

The author intertwines the concepts of the Catholic Church practices, eighteenth century medical practices, and scientific reasoning-all of which are closely related to Colonialism. Essentially, the author is raising the question of whether or not what has been deemed possession is actually the perpetuation of repressing the overwhelming feelings of human emotions. Sierva condition has been looked upon from various perspectives. Common medical practices of the times, religious healing, and superstitions were all use in an attempt at healing Sierva. Nevertheless, the only time improvement is seen is when she experiences love. Consequently, when that love is removed, she dies.

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