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Essay/Term paper: I sell my dreams

Essay, term paper, research paper:  English Composition

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Gabriel Marquez's poem "I Sell My Dreams" is a poem that demonstrates the fulfillment and security that individuals attain through a belief; the belief in question being that of superstition. A belief in superstition helps comfort a person when in a decision. Through setting, characters, diction and syntax, Marquez develops this theme while simultaneously creating a most suitable ironic tone.

Time wise there are two distinct areas, the war and post war eras. During the war, Frau stayed with a Viennese family who appeared quite superstitious; not too uncommon for a family in the war whose life could depend on weather they went out that day. The two main geographical locations, Latin America and France, are both superstition-bred countries. The initial setting of Cuba can also relate to superstition through the Spaniards view of the island as one of death during its discovery.

Obviously, without characters there would be no story and no superstition, so, the characters must play a vital role in the establishment of superstition in the story. The main characters, Frau and the narrator, are opposites in the theme; Frau representing the unaffected bearer of the superstition and the narrator being the receiver of it. The narrator's comment, "Even if your dreams are false, I'll never go back,…Just in case.", insinuates that he continues to believe in his superstition of relying on dreams. The Viennese family was slowly taken in by Frau's prophetic dreams until they "became the sole authority of the house." Also, in the beginning, Frau seems to have been raised by a superstitious family when they heed here dreams about her brother. This indicates that her dreams may be prophetic through her own superstitious upbringing.

Through diction, Marquez is able to insinuate and build a background for the narrator and a surrounding for the rest of the families involved. Through the use of older, more Latin American based words (fiesta, Rambla de los Parjos) he is able to create a looser more vulnerable feel to the story. Similarly, using syntax, his comfortable and easily read sentences add a more home-based feel to the entire story.

Throughout the story, Marquez utilizes all these techniques to create an ironic backdrop to the story, keeping it from becoming an unrealistic story. For example, if there would not have been the delightful Cubans at the beginning, then the wave incident would only have been sad. Another example, when the wave at the end kills Frau, explores the possibility of irony in her life. How is it, that a prophetic dreamer of death can't even see her own demise.

If it weren't for the ironic undertone, the characters belief's would only seem too normal and the story would be bland. Through the use of his literary style he is able to create a feel to the story. Through other elements of literature he is able to fully immerse the reader into the superstitious world of the narrator.


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