Monday, April 17, 2017

Week Twelve: Diverse Position Science Fiction

Prompt:Discuss how the text(s) you read for this week's assignment did or did not refelect the values and perspectives of majoritarian culture. 

"Bodega Dreams" is a gritty and colorful novel painting out the alluring world of Spanish harlem.  Word on the block says Willie Bodega is king and if you want to stay in his good favors , you will do anything he tells you ; even if that means steadily pushing drugs in a chance at a leg up and some of his loyalty.  We come to know the story of Chino, a young man in Spanish Harlem who crosses paths with the legendary Willie Bodega, who is equal parts gangster, activist and dreamer. As Chino is drawn further into Bodega’s world, he becomes increasingly connected with el barrio’s shady underbelly and begins to contemplate the future of the neighborhood. Sapo, a mutual friend of the two, introduces Chino to Willie Bodega, and the small but stable life Chino has with Blanca begins to disintegrate. Bodega says he is interested in working with Chino, but Chino initially dismisses Bodega as just another slumlord taking advantage of his own people.  Eventually Chino is eager to cut ties with Bodega, whom he suspects murdered Salazar. Yet, there always seems to be one more favor he owes, and he can’t manage to walk away. For example, Chino’s new apartment building is set on fire, and once again, Chino needs to find housing. It is believed that the building fire was set by Aaron Fischman, a rival of Bodega and an associate of Salazar.  Only after Bodega’s death does Chino learn that the entire situation was a set-up, a way for Vera to leave her marriage and reconnect with her true love, Nazario. Chino realizes that it was Nazario who arranged for Vera to come to New York and who set the apartment building on fire and blamed it on Fischman.  Fearing that he will eventually be a target of Nazario’s himself, Chino turns in everyone but Sapo to the police. QuiƱonez perfectly reflected the realities faced then and even currently in lower class neighborhoods . Personally , growing up in the bronx , this has proven to be well written and captures what its like to live in and around gangs and power runs with drugs that comprise the majority of the neighborhoods economic make-up.

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