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Women of the Mexican Revolution, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 324

Essay

The Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska’s accounts of the so-called “las soldaderas”, women participants and soldiers in the Mexican Revolution, constitutes a detailed and emotionally charged recounting of the experiences of these women fighters. The perspective Poniatowska takes, intimately describing the hardships of these women’s lives, while also depicting their crucial contributions to the revolutionary effort often times defies words, insofar as it communicates the arduous lives of these participants in an upfront style. Accordingly, the way in which Poniatowska communicates the story is harmonious with imagery: it is almost as though Poniatowska is conscious that the words she uses to paint her story are not sufficient to grasp the suffering of those endured.

Hence, when thinking about an image to describe these pages from Las Solderadas, one is compelled to present this narrative in a form such as iconography, such as the Christian iconography of the Virgin Mary. These icons communicate a deep emotional meaning in the heart of the Christian believer, as one understands, for example, Mary’s suffering at the experience of the death of her son. In much the same way, the images of the women portrayed in Las Solderadas take an almost icon-like form, as Poniatowska’s text and the photos combined within come together to create an almost transcendental experience.

The imagery of icons of these women would present a powerful communication of the arduous nature of these women’s lives, and also the significance of their efforts in the war. By considering these heroes of the Mexican Revolution in an almost religious form, we can understood both the higher ideals that motivated, as well as their very real and human existences: the icon as a form of art carefully places attentions to the faces of its subjects, much like in Poniatowska’s book the photos of the women carry this same iconic figure.  In this case, the imagery of the icon is a silent witness to both the suffering and glory of Las Soldaderas.

 

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