Politics, Power, and Palabras Mirrored in Contemporary Chicana Literature
One of the main characteristics of politics is its close connection with power whose positive effect is to work for the common good. However, there is also the risk of political power being used in a less benevolent way. On the one hand, concrete acts are what makes power visible and tangible, yet on the other hand written and oral speech acts will achieve the same end. Then again, words which are spoken or noted down on paper are only one way to get a message across, since everything that remains unsaid also has considerable effects. Missing or fragmentary information hints at the tendency of public institutions to overlook or neglect certain population groups thus putting the members of those groups at a disadvantage, impeding their participation within society. The subsequent analysis of contemporary Mexican-American prose will examine the interactions and effects of political communication in the USA by studying literary characters and their lives as well as the legislative framework and the arguments of individuals in key positions of society. Examining the literary representation of these interrelated aspects in Ana Castillo’s novel So Far From God will expose the connections between political acts and statements as well as the effects of the corresponding communication or lack thereof on the people concerned. The interdisciplinary approach of the analysis makes use of scientific knowledge regarding power, language, sociology and cultural studies in order to provide deeper insights into the interaction of politics and literature.