Jovita Gonzáles Fourth comment

The authority of Tío Esteban, the new mail carrier, in “a forlorn-looking two wheeled vehicle” is an interesting passage. There is a palpable break. A sign that the Usted and borderlines of the Spanish language have ceased to permeate the everyday life of the community. It no longer applies as a rule. We must heed obidience to a new language code. As a mail carrier, a US postman, Tío Esteban has switched language masters’ (p.107)

In the backdrop of the early 1900’s in Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzáles1 technological advances are no threat to the lifestyles of the ranchers who are in no hurry to catch up with the ever changing landscape nor is it rejected either. two wheel vehicles and trains are viewed with the eye of distant curiosity as if seeing an odd object. This product of the mind is not rejected by racial lines, indeed, we are curious no matter whence it cometh from. As always, and as most history insists in telling to our deaf ears. Technology is accepted far more than the gringo is or ever will be. So reading Chapter IX The Cupid of the Brush Country is quite interesting. These two phenomena: the ranchers still trying to live a lifestyle of old, ever refusing to let go of their glorious past, and the imminent change and the mechanical knowhow of the Yankees advance, flow in opposite directions yet together posit a mystery.

All this is reminiscent of Don Quijote who insists in living a long lost time in a present that has surpassed him beyond recognition.


1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

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