Conscientización of the Oppressed: Language and the Politics of Humor in Ana Castillo's So Far from God
This essay explores the relationship between Ana Castillo's novel So Far from God (1993) and her development of an activist poetics inspired by Paulo Freire's influential 1970 treatise Pedagogy of the Oppressed. So Far from God may be understood as the practical application of Castillo's theory of "conscienticized poetics"; that is, the novel seeks to inspire political activism through a distinctive narrative style that relies on language strategies such as humor, revisioned cultural myths, and bilingual wordplay. The novel's humor is especially important to understanding Castillo's poetics, as she uses "outrageous" events to convey (and provoke) outrage about issues as serious as war, environmental racism, patriarchal violence, and AIDS.
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