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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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Salt can be both a preservative and a killing agent. How do you see that duality contributing to the story?

Created: 04/27/21

Replies: 6

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

Join Date: 10/09/18

Posts: 49

Salt can be both a preservative and a killing agent. How do you see that duality contributing to the story?

Salt can be both a preservative and a killing agent. How do you see that duality contributing to the story?


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

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 214

RE: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

OH!! So that was the meaning of the title. Thanks for the explanation.


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

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 217

RE: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

There are many passages in which the characters mention “tasting sweat, their own tears and salt” and aren’t tears and sweat both often corrosive and cathartic? I saw this title as an acknowledgment of all the tears, the tribulations all these women faced and the sweat for all the hard work they endured to have a better life for their daughters. To me, the title reflected that, how motherhood starts with tears and sweat - the very labor of birth and it never ends. How hard it is to be a good mother and no matter how hard you try there will always be tears and sweat. Even Jeannette says “ even the best mothers in the world can’t always save their daughters.”


Posted Apr. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabetta

Join Date: 04/24/21

Posts: 54

RE: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

Salt is necessary for life and it is the product of our sweat and tears. It is bitter yet enhances the taste of many foods. This duality is adds a physicality to the suffering the women endure.


Posted Apr. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 263

RE: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

This was a good question, I originally thought of tears but after thinking about the question and story I realized that Carmen had to cross the ocean to get to American, Gloria earned her living through sweaty, physical work, Jeanette's first sexual experience was at the ocean, Maria Isabel remembered the sweat coming from her during childbirth. I'm sure Ana's story had reference to salt as well.


Posted Apr. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 217

RE: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

I agree. Somewhere as I first read the book I caught a reference to the ocean and salt, I couldn’t find it when I skimmed back to look but I think the tears, the sweat and the repetitive role the ocean played also is important in the title.


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: Salt can be both a preservative and ...

I think fleshed out a bit more we would find the women in this story the "salt of the earth".


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