“Autos que se Queman” is still in the process of being published. It is a recently written text that takes a look into the decline of the Motor Industry in the late 1900’s. During this time many people were poverty stricken and faced a difficult journey from the South to the North in order to improve their lives and their family’s future. Many citizens were unemployed and attempted to make it as artists due to the lack of successful industry; artists of the pen were a common form.
This text delves deep into the poverty stricken Detroit area in the North. We are faced with a man who has been abandoned by his father; who had possibly moved to the South in search of a better life. He recalls on all the times that his father would knock him emotionally. Taunt him with insults and demanding remarks to become a better man. He was left feeling useless, unnecessary and a waste of space. Unemployed in this declining area, he tries to write articles, however his mental state remained an obstacle. This urban area was once successful however, as the Motor Industry declined, he was left with nothing. He has a rundown home and a car that barely functions. He longs for a father figure and someone to love him. A woman living nearby, called Roberta, overwhelms his mind and dreams. He accuses himself of all wrong goings and reminisces on all the taints and verbal abuse of his father. In the text he is faced with neighbours leaving the area and traveling South in search of a better living condition; a more stable life, be it under the arms of different men or a simple escape like his father had done. It is a sad text as we can see the pain and suffering brought on by the decline of the Motor Industry; that which almost makes life unbearable.
What makes this text unique is that it is based on real life during tough times. Many people know what happened, however it is not clear how badly people suffered. An article taken from BBC News follows the life of a Miss Claire McClinton whose Grandparents made this difficult journey from Detroitte to the South;
“For the grandparents of Claire McClinton, who made the journey from the poverty of the rural south to Michigan just after World War II, it was like arriving in another world.”(Steve Schifferes, BBC, 2007)
“None of their children ever went hungry, we all had a good education, we had good jobs, and owned our own home. We thought we were living the American dream,” (Claire McClinton, 2007),.
People today are still speaking up about the difficulties that were encountered, including the News publishers in Detroitte. On April 26th this year, an article published in the “Detroitte Free Press” stated that “Those with access and means are moving out, leaving behind those who can’t leave.”
Reading the work of Mónica was, in fact, the first time I was truly exposed to what is happening in the South of America. It was amazing to have been informed through a real life experience in her writing. I was able to visualise and empathise throughout the text through her graphic, direct imagery. It is this element of realism and honesty within her work that attracts her audience. What interests me the most about this Author, in particular, is that these elements are continued on throughout all of her work and all of her written pieces; whether we are taking into account novels, short stories or even essays.