Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Devil- El Barrio

It is interesting that most of the mystery is actually solved separated from both white and black territory. El Barrio serves as a neutral place, removed from the scenes of all previous action. It is inhabited primarily by Mexicans, members of a third race that has not yet been brought into the novel.
At Primo's hotel, Daphne and Easy have an intense love affair. He realizes things about Daphne that he had not noticed before. He senses her ability to adapt. "Daphne was like the chameleon lizard. She changed for her man. If he was a small white man who was afraid to complain to the waiter she'd pull his head to her bosom and pat him. If he was poor a black man who had soaked up pain and a rage for a lifetime, she washed his wounds with a rough rag and licked the blood till it staunched"(230-231).
At the Chinese restaurant Daphne gives Easy a false account from her childhood. He realizes that something is not right with her story and that she is hiding something. In the end we discover that she is actually partially black. As Daphne's eye color seems to change, so does her entire personality. Her black identity is unable to merge with her white body. This may be representative of the schism between whites and black in LA, both culturally and geographically. This is why she cannot bear the touch of Easy when he knows the truth about her.
"She wanna be white. All them years people be tellin' her how she light skinned and beautiful but all the time she knows that she can't have what white people have. So she pretend and then she lose it all. She can love a white man but all he can love is the white girl he think she is."(252-253)

No comments: