In Alba Ambert’s first novel, Porque hay silencio (1987), silence is both literal and symbolic. Blanca, Ambert’s main character, travels from childhood into adulthood as the narrative elements of theme, language and imagery portray a world rife with marginalization in which she is isolated, powerless, and thus voiceless. From Blanca’s earliest memories in Santurce, Puerto Rico, to her most recent stay in an insane asylum in Cambridge, Massachusetts; she struggles to endure a life in which she is continually silenced. Her efforts to establish her own identity within her family and within the world at large is set against the backdrop of an impoverished childhood in the Bronx and a cruel married life in Puerto Rico. Even her scholarship to Harvard University results in a cultural crisis that she suffers as a Latina in Massachusetts. This exploration of a woman’s journey to achieve empowerment amidst poverty, machismo and bigotry results eventually in a spiritual awakening that brings with it a fervent desire to change her destiny. She finds her voice, vowing to be silent no longer.
How to Cite:
Marx, J.F., (2007). Breaking the Silence in Alba Ambert’s “Porque Hay Silencio”: One Woman’s Journey. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 17(1), pp.43–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/46