Confused on what to make of all the adult conversations hears, Cofer experiences an anxiety of puzzling memories from her past and is forced to use her imagination to fill in the blanks.
I remember her crying in the kitchen. I sat on my chair learning how to count uno, dos, tres. She held fast to the traditions and family values she knew well. This disconnect is expressed through the dull, sad, empty look on her face.
These two opposing worldviews created a disconnect that Cofer attempts to resolve through her writing. Julia 4 On top of her confusion and difficulties in assimilation Ortiz encounters many differences between Puerto Rico life and the barrios. The television helped to Americanize the family. Having a television set them apart from the rest of the community; other women envied their economic status and considered them rich.
The level of wealth coupled with her ethnic background made it difficult to fit in and assimilate to their new life in Jersey. Cofers story weaves a recollection of memories while the photograph reflects the hardship and shows her emotions. The dreams act as a manifestation of fears and unanswered questions. The dreams may answer some of the questions Cofer has had, yet she is dissatisfied. She relates the people in her life to the silent dancers, circling in their dance and always keeping silent while her dreams tell her the answers.
This attention to memory and the issues with formulating a coherent self which is required by the genre was something I found very interesting and made me appreciate this book a lot more. Each chapter of the book is followed by a poem which often adds an additional layer of understanding to what has been revealed in the chapter.
By additional layer I mean they will often elaborate on some point raised during the chapter which had not been fully developed. While I at first found them to be a bit extraneous, after a while I began to see them as fitting in with the idea of a life distilled.
If these individual chapters attempt to concentrate fragments of life into discrete episodes while hinting at the changes that have occurred and are to come, poetry--which is language at perhaps its most concentrated--in a few lines echoes the depths which bare prose alone could only explain with a multitude of words.
Overall, I thought this book was an interesting experiment in autobiography and the story of Cofer's experiences makes for a good compact read. Aug 18, Jennifer Dines rated it it was amazing. This book envelopes you into its two worlds Puerto Rico and Paterson, New Jersey.
The author explores her early life in a series of "ensayos" - which she explains are different than the English word "essays". For her, the "ensayos" are more of rehearsals or studies - like a musical etude. Cofer's genuine voice lifts off the pages and offers pearls of wisdom on living as a woman. Feb 28, Jacqueline rated it it was amazing. This collection of vignettes is every bit as memorable. I particularly loved the poetry that followed the chapters, re-framing each recalled memory so beautifully.
Cofer's memoir of growing up in both Puerto Rico and New Jersey is an absolutely delightful read. Apr 06, Marjie Hay rated it really liked it. This is one of those books you read and years later you still remember it fondly I adore Judith's style of writing and I really connected with her references to Puerto Rico. I'll have to find this one and read it again. Aug 09, Michelle rated it it was ok. I really wanted to enjoy this book, and there were parts of it that reminded me of home in PR, but overall, the book seemed a little too disjointed.
There wasn't one specific storyline, rather,the author jumped around from story to story. Dec 29, Possum Paderau rated it it was amazing. This book is beautiful and tender. I feel nostalgic for a past that's not my own when I'm reading. I'm also a Spanish learner so her explanation of the "feeling" or connotation of Spanish words and phrases was nice. Dec 03, Val rated it liked it Shelves: Aug 01, Evan added it Shelves: A couple of chapters are surprisingly honest while others seem to cover up.
I wonder if Cofer was writing with her mother over her shoulder? Dec 31, Stacy rated it liked it. The first book of required reading for narrative inquiry. Based on this book Jun 05, aggie added it Shelves: A book that teaches, through singing Poetry and ballroom dancing prose, how to travel the avenues of memory and make Art from the particulars of one's personal life.
Nancy rated it it was ok Aug 09, Riki Cardona rated it really liked it Apr 18, Afiya rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Phuong Nhi rated it it was amazing Sep 25, Nubia rated it liked it Aug 26, StoneSeraph rated it really liked it Jan 20, Evelyn Reyes rated it it was amazing Sep 17, Kate rated it really liked it Sep 02, About Judith Ortiz Cofer.
Judith Ortiz Cofer born in is a Puerto Rican author. Her work spans a range of literary genres including poetry, short stories, autobiography, essays, and young-adult fiction. She moved to Paterson, New Jersey with her family in They often made back-and-forth trips between Paterson and Hormigueros. Ortiz Cofer received a B. Ortiz Cofer's work can largely be classified as creative nonfiction. Her narrative self is strongly influenced by oral storytelling, which was inspired by her grandmother, an able storyteller in the tradition of teaching through storytelling among Puerto Rican women.
Ortiz Cofer's autobiographical work often focuses on her attempts at negotiating her life between two cultures, American and Puerto Rican, and how this process informs her sensibilities as a writer. Her work also explores such subjects as racism and sexism in American culture, machismo and female empowerment in Puerto Rican culture, and the challenges diasporic immigrants face in a new culture.
In , she became the first Hispanic to win the O. Books by Judith Ortiz Cofer. See All Goodreads Deals…. Trivia About Silent Dancing: No trivia or quizzes yet. This notion of a difficult life was also exemplified by the dire conditions that Cofer outlined. With the term beehive, it was clear that the housing was tight and not adequate for such a large family. Moreover, Cofer noted that her sleeping situation was not comfortable:.
Surely, despite the fact that the father worked long hours, the housing that the family had was the best that they could afford. As a result, there was a strong similarity in terms of the horrendous living and working conditions that the Latino immigrants faced. For instance, within Silent Dancing , Cofer remarked how her father worked really hard to make sure that the girls and mother had all of their essentials, despite being locked in the house all day.
One conversation between the mother and father clearly exemplified the gender-related issues of fidelity and treatment of women:. This example clearly illustrated how gender-related issues played a key role in this story, while no the other.
Latino immigrants in the two stories faced challenges that were similar, such as racial discrimination and working long hours in disparate conditions. However, the key difference between the two was that Fighting Back showcased gender-related issues that were not present in the first one. Mainly, both stories showed how the fathers worked endless hours and the mothers were stuck with caring for the family and children.
Also, racial discrimination was a clear challenge. Despite that, fidelity and mistreatment issues within Fighting Back in terms of the mother and father was not present in the first story, where the father was very conscientious of the family of women and their positions.
Arte Publico Press, When I Was Puerto Rican: Da Capo Press, Ultius Blog, 29 Jul. Click here for more help with MLA citations.
The written text and photograph for Judith Ortiz “Silent Dancing” reflects back on Cofer’s unhappy confusing childhood.
Journey To My Past: Responses to Silent Dancing Story Essay. Journey To My Past: Responses to Silent Dancing Story 1 Journal of Reading Silent Dancing Many people say, "Do not judge a book by its cover," but the cover .
Start your hour free trial to unlock this page Silent Dancing study guide and get instant access to the following: Summary; Critical Essays; Analysis; 5 Homework Help Questions with Expert Answers; You'll also get access to more than 30, additional guides and , Homework Help questions answered by our experts. Essay Nonfiction Story In the short story Lessons of love, from Silent Dancing by Judith Ortiz Cofer; she uses literary devises to send the purpose of her love story. Cofer’s many literary devices where that of detail, simile, and personification to emphasize her message and the lessons she learned from her experiences.
A Summary of "Silent Dancing" by Judith Ortiz Cohen A Summary of ‘Silent Dancing’ by Judith Ortiz Cofer An influential writer that contributed to the Latina literature that came out of the s and 90s is Judith Ortiz Cofer. Ortiz Cofer was born in Puerto Rico in "Silent Dancing By Judith Ortiz Cofer" Essays and Research Papers Silent Dancing By Judith Ortiz Cofer Judith Ortiz Cofer: Understanding a Writer Judith Ortíz Cofer was born in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico in