By Michelle Segovia
Writers are known as people that have written a particular text, and they are never the same, in fact they are all different. They are all diverse with many different writing styles. Some writers are metaphorical while others tend to stay on the persuasive side. Collectively, writers that differ tend to write many different stories, short stories, poems and even dive into writing song lyrics. Miguel Angel Astruarias is best known for writing about his short stories having to do with Mayan myths and Guatemalan legends. He is best known for writing The Mirror Of Linda Sal. Throughout the story he dives into bringing out the myths and legends into his writing when describing the “perfect one” in an interesting and also captivating new way. As well as almost giving a foreshadowing of what might possibly happen throughout the short story when the “perfect one is being described”.
In “The Mirror Of Linda Sal '' Miguel Ángel Asturias uses personification as well a little bit of foreshadowing. He describes, “The rivers gasp for breath as winter decays. The bland burble of the currents is replaced by dry silence” (Astruarias 17) . He does this to show and describe how everything in that moment felt like. He foreshadows in a way that might occur to someone exactly like when he is describing the river and hearing nothing but the absolute silence. Throughout the short story the main character Linda Sal is discovered and mentioned. She is this mulatto girl who is a dishwasher, who happens to have a strong liking for a boy named Felipito Alvizures. She desires and wishes to be able to marry him, she is determined to do so. She is willing to do anything despite the differences between both of them. The differences that they have is their social rankings, he is wealthy while she is poor.
"Throughout the story he dives into bringing out the myths and legends into his writing when describing the “perfect one” in an interesting and also captivating new way."
Symbolism is a big part in this short story in order for Linda Sal to achieve her goal of getting married to the man that she desires. She needs the “perfect one”. The “perfect one” is an item of clothing which is best known as a costume. This is where Miguel includes his myths and legends into the story. Felipito will be in the procession wearing the “perfect one”, but before that, in order for Linda Sal to get the man she wants, she needs to wear the “perfect one” before he does. “ You must sleep with the costume enough nights to impregnate it with your magic; in sleep people become magical and because of this, when Felipito puts on the costume for the fiesta, he will overcome your enchantment and seek you out because he won't be able to live without you” (Astruarias 25).The symbolism in this “perfect one” is to sleep with it so that when he puts it on he will have no other choice but to be with you. Due to the magical powers it possesses, her wish would be fulfilled by getting the man.
Throughout the story, imagery is also described by her sleeping in the costume so that she can get magical powers, and later pass them onto Felipito. More imagery is seen throughout his writing, where the “perfect one” to be able to work, Linda Sal needed to be able to see herself wearing it. “Magic has its rules” and seeing herself was part of the deal, but due to her circumstances and the low social class she was in, she did not have a mirror to be able to look at herself. This meant that her wish was not going to be able to come true. She was running out of time and she came up with the idea to go to the waterfall and see the reflection of herself in the water. She did everything possible to see herself, but ended up “sliding one foot on the edge of the rock in order to enjoy the picture in all its glory: glittering in spangles, glimmering beads, bright stones, magnificent braids, flecks and cords of gold. Then she moved the other foot to get a better view and already it was too late, her body joined her reflection with a splash, after which neither body nor reflection remained” (Astruarias 32). Throughout all that hassle of seeing herself she ended up just falling into her reflection.
After falling into the water trying to save herself but being unable to come out the lagoon was now called the “Mirror of Linda Sal” (Astruarias 33). It is now known and called The Mirror of Linda Sal because “When it rains, and the moon is full, her corpse floats upon the water. The rocks have seen it. weeping leaves and reflections. The deer and the rabbits have seen it. The moles telegraph the news with the beating of their little subterranean hearts before they return to their darkness” (Astruarias 33). Personification is used to describe that the rocks have “seen it” when in reality rocks don’t have eyes so they could have not possibly been able to see her reflection. He adds this into the story to give the audience a more gravitational pull to the imagery he is describing.
“Magic has its rules” and seeing herself was part of the deal, but due to her circumstances and the low social class she was in, she did not have a mirror to be able to look at herself."
In the beginning foreshadowing was present throughout the story, the river was brought up and was connected to the “perfect one” and having to do with “hearing absolute silence.” Wavering nets of silver rain draw her image from the restless mirror and set it walking over the surface of the water; the water which absently dreams of her, in the costume of a Perfected One.”( Astruarias 33). After her drowning incident the water became silent, but yet in a way you can see the reflection of Linda Sal through the water while wearing the “perfect one”. Although her dream never came true into getting the man that she wanted, she got to see her reflection of herself through the water while wearing the “perfect one.”
In the end, imagery, personification, foreshadowing, metaphors and symbolism play a huge role in the way Miguel Ángel Asturias writes and tells the story. At first glance it might not seem that the story has all of these things, but when delving further into it. It consists of all of those elements. Throughout the story we see how he brings these myths, tales and legends into life. “The perfect one” does a great job of bringing the story to life and explaining the struggles of what Linda Sal had to do to hopefully fulfil her desire. She got so consumed with her goal and filling the “perfect one” with magical powers, that at the end it ended up taking her and leaving nothing but silence. What was once said now became the truth, and it ultimately led to the death of Linda Sal. The reflection of you was in this case the mirror of Linda Sal.
Asturias, Miguel Angel. The Mirror of Linda Sal: Tales Based on Mayan Myths and Guatemalan Legends. Latin American Literary Review Press, 1997.