Add to this the strain between Negi`s parents - her hardworking mother and her errant father, who, despite loving his children, nevertheless had affairs with other women, which in the end instigated Negi`s parents to separate. But before that happens, the often distressing relationships between her mother and father are depicted by Santiago with pain but without judgement, in a way as a child would indeed perceive relations between parents. All these circumstances of Santiago`s childhood, forced into our imagination with the help of the author`s descriptive literary talent, introduces us to the conditions of her life - poverty, conflicts between her parents, and the position of Santiago as the eldest child to help her mother with the rest of children, which, in combination with the expectations that parents laid upon Negi, was inflicting her nascent self-image.
Again, due to the impressive level of immersion into the account enabled by the author masterful language, we almost emotionally relive events that greatly impress Negi along with her, as for example is the case with the bicycle accident in which the youngest brother of Negi hurts his foot.
In addition to this, the Spanish culture of Puerto Rican society was also exerting a great influence on Santiago. For example, this concerns different roles of men and women in Puerto Rico, where it was normal that if men work hard they may have time for rest, while women are rarely given such a time for recreation even after a much harder toil. As the result of this, women often develop a disrespect and hostility towards men, which surely influenced the worldview of Negi. On the other hand, striving to understand the notion of love Negi gets engulfed in romantic novels that offer a contrasting image of love relationships.
The concept of digital, which along with some other Spanish terms Santiago finds difficult if not impossible to properly translate into English, represents another dominant element of the social code of Puerto Rican society that, ironically, often only contributes to the oppression of women.
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