Study Guide

Dreaming in Cuban Writing Style

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Writing Style

Lyrical, Compact, Economical

Dreaming in Cuban is basically, by the author's admission, a poem gone wild, so it's no surprise that the dreamy character of Celia writes letters that could be set to music. The open spirituality of the work—whether the main characters embrace religion or not—and the intimate narration of the experience of mental illness lends itself to compact poetic expression. García handles a wide spectrum of personalities and speech patterns in a short space, creating distinct voices for each by varying sentence length and vocabulary. But don't take our word for it. Try comparing the staccato patterns of Pilar's first person speech ("The family is hostile to the individual") with Celia's letters ("I watch the sun rise, burning its collection of memories, and I draw strength for another day") or Felicia's third person experiences ("Suddenly, the room vibrates with a deafening rattle and the Dopplerized screeches of children").

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