“Through” and Borderlands

From my reading of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands, and from our reading and discussion of Through in class, I’ve been thinking about spaces. Anzaldúa notes that a “borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition” (3). I think the concepts in Through relate well to borders, but I’ve been trying to consider transitory spaces or events from my own life.

One transitory event that my mind immediately jumps to is graduation. Specifically from high school, because I’ve already done that, but also graduating from college as an undergrad, since that will be happening this May. It’s interesting to me how, as a society, we’ve constructed major moments of transition. Graduation is one, but so are moments like being able to test for your driver’s license, or being able to vote, or drink alcohol. Looking at alcohol specifically, and how in the U.S. the legal drinking age has changed from eighteen, to nineteen, to the current age of twenty-one, it’s obvious that these moments are constructed by external forces. We all eventually reach those moments.

When I think of moving through, I think of moving on, or maybe passed. For Anzaldúa, and the people living in borderlands, their culture is constantly being moved through, and even passed. These zones are basically blind spots to everyone that simply moves through them. Acknowledging that, and looking at transitory experiences from my own life, I think it’s important to not look passed those moments. It’s important to not only see what’s on either side. This is a confusing concept, and I’m still trying to fully conceptualize my thoughts on it, but I think I know that it’s important, either way.

One Reply to ““Through” and Borderlands”

  1. Connor,

    I think this is a very interesting comparison of books. I too can relate Through by Herd to Calling A Wolf A Wolf by Kaveh Akbar — one of my new favorite books and poets. Both have to do with an evolution — both encompass change and a slow gradual movement. Through is a strange title, and word when you think about it separately from the book — but it fits oh so well, and it such an intriguing concept to look into. Considering the definition at the end of this book, it adds to the reading and interpretation of the poems as well. I looked at Through with my watch, and others used scissors, an old picture, and other specific things as well. These different readings were interesting, and important. As is the comparison of this book to other literature and prose– thanks for sharing!

    Julia xoxo

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