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Of Women and Salt


A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar...
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How does Jeanette's struggle with addiction mirror or bear similarity to the struggles of the women in her family before her? How do you think her family background contributes to the adult she eventually becomes?

Created: 04/26/21

Replies: 7

Posted Apr. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3442

How does Jeanette's struggle with addiction mirror or bear similarity to the struggles of the women in her family before her? How do you think her family background contributes to the adult she eventually becomes?

How does Jeanette's struggle with addiction mirror or bear similarity to the struggles of the women in her family before her? How do you think her family background contributes to the way she grows up and the adult she eventually becomes?


Posted Apr. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 181

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

This is a tricky question for me. I don't want to seem insensitive...please don't send hateful messages!
I don't think Jeanette's struggles compared to any of the women before her. The other women were faced with situations that were beyond their control and became life/death survival situations. Jeanette chose her path and make the decision to use drugs.

Carmen, her mom, was definitely "difficult" and it was probably impossible to live up to her standards. Jeanette likely felt insecure, helpless, frustrated and resorted to drugs in order to feel better.
It's sad because as the "last" generation of the story, she had the most opportunity for success.


Posted Apr. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mtnluvr

Join Date: 10/03/20

Posts: 38

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

I would agree with Jessica F in that Jeanette did choose her own path. The other women in the family before her I felt were more products of their circumstances. The similarity was that none of the women seemed to be able to find a clear path out of their struggles.


Posted Apr. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 263

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

Jeanette's struggle is not in the same class as the other women in her family. As said before Jeanette made her own choices. She didn't tell her mother about her father's abuse until after he died and I feel as though Carmen would have listened had Jeanette approached her when it happened. Carmen knew her husband was an alcoholic and was somewhat violent toward her so I think she would have believed Jeanette.

Jeanette was the American Dream for Carmen - a child with intelligence, education, looks, and the freedom to do or be anything. As Jeanette failed time and time again, Carmen's dreams were erased bit by bit.


Posted Apr. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 217

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

I agree with all, the above posts. I found Jeannette the most aggravating character in the book. What her mother did for her, all the chances at rehab she had and yet continued to go back to Mario who was a horrible influence on her. When Jeannette asks her how she survived her mother tells her that she survived because of Jeannette’s father, and that is why it has been so hard for her “ to say no to that man all our life together.” She doesn’t detail all the hardships she had endured. Jeannette never told her mother about the abuse while her father was alive. I choose to believe that Carmen would have protected Jeannette and left her husband behind for the good of her daughter. Jeanette never gave her mother the chance to make that decision, yet, it seemed she spent a lot of the book silently begging her mother to choose her. The struggles the other women dealt with, to me, are nothing like Jeannette’s struggles. Those women did not create their own problems, they did not have a support system to pay for their treatment, they made choices to survive and help their children survive with acts of great personal courage. When Jeannette needed to dig deep and find her own well of courage, (with a mother there to hold her hand along the way), to kick her addiction she either was unable to dig deep enough or found the well dry.


Posted Apr. 27, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lee

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 17

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

I completely agree with everyone above. I feel that trying to compare Jeannette’s struggles with all the women who came before her is not a fair one to make. Like everyone else said above, the other women did not have the privilege of choice that Jeanette did — in fact, it annoyed me that Jeanette was given opportunity after opportunity and also had a support system, yet still couldn’t dig herself out of her predicament...and in my opinion, she took the most cowardly route in the end compared to her ancestors.


Posted Apr. 27, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabetta

Join Date: 04/24/21

Posts: 54

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

I also agree that Janette’s addiction is not the same as the other women. They did not have the privilege of choice. I do not think we can discount the weight of sexual abuse in Jeanette’s life and I’m not entirely sure her mother may have stepped in had she known. There was a heaviness to Jeanette that the other woman characters did not have. On p. 36 Jeanette, “understood that another narrative she couldn’t access shaped her life.” She never developed beyond that narrative.


Posted Jun. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: How does Jeanette's struggle ...

There is living in circumstances that are not of your making and just trying to get thru life the best you can and then there are doing things that make your life more difficult - making the wrong choices in life. Jeanette is of the second definition, whereas her family was of the first.


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