Page 4 - Boca ViewPointe - July '22
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Page 4, Viewpointe                                                    July 2022
      Book Review

      Plight of the Working Class                                                                             Elena Medel has written a poetic, touching novel about the
                                                                                                           plight of the working women in contemporary Spain set from
      Sir, I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that                                                the time of Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s death and end
      I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man’s happiness,                                                    of fascism to the following half century of social democracy
      glad of other men’s good, content with my harm,                                                      and the modern feminist movement. The surrealistic work
      and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze                                                 rendered in vignettes of memory is unified by the presence
      and my lambs suck.” Shakespeare’s Corin, As You Like It                                              of Carmen who appears as an infant, illegitimate daughter of
      J.D. Vance. Hillbilly Elegy, A Memoir of Family and Culture                                          the sixteen year old Maria who lovingly tends to her needs.
      in Crisis. New York: Harper Collins, 2016.                                                           But in the interest of the child’s future, she gives her up to the
      Elena Medel. The Wonders, A Novel, trans. Lizzie Davis and                                           care of her family, her Uncle Chico, and moves to Madrid to
      Thomas Bunstead. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Book, 2022.                                            undertake a humdrum life eking out a living while working in
                                                                                                           menial jobs, and hoping one day to reclaim her daughter. She
      By Dr. Ronald J. Meyers                                                                              neither apologizes nor bewails her life, but fulfills the calling
                                                         Cough Medicine, etc. It likely draws inference from the   of her faith and her destiny. She is faithful to Pedro, a man
         “H illbilly” w ith                              rustics celebrated by the Elizabethans, William Shakespeare   who loves her, and they share Marxist belief; but is unwilling
      the denotation of an                               and Edmund Spenser, for their raw common sense and strong   to live with him while she undertakes work for the association,
      unsophisticated country                            moral scruples. These are predominantly descendants of   a feminist movement for the improvement of women’s status.
      person from the heartlands                         Scot-Irish immigrants, victims of advanced industrialization      In later pages, we encounter Carmen as wife, and mother
      has gained a favorable                             who were left behind on their small farms in Appalachia and   to Alicia, who is also a victim of fate though brought up in
      connotation in regards to the                      the mid-west as the country moved in new directions. J.D.   a prosperous middle class family. Her father owns several
      truthful, authentic country                        Vance, running currently for the United States Senate from   restaurants named Carmen. She is a good student with a
      music which conveys the                            Ohio, recounts his own hillbilly past with his grandparents,   promising future. But her future is curtailed by two events,
      heart of America, as from                          Papaw and especially Mamaw who raised him after the   first her being subjected to bullying in school, being hung by
      Hayseed Dixie, Grandpa                             divorce of his parents and the frequent confinement of his   her ankles in the gym, and then the suicide death of her father
                                                         mother Bev due to her mental illness.             in reaction to steep business reversals. She ends up with the
                                                            He argues a sociological study as he transitioned   same non-descript jobs as her grandmother, Maria, finally in a
        From The Desk Of from page 1                     from Jackson, Kentucky hillbilly country, to middle class   snack shop at the Madrid railway station. She fears forming a
                                                         represented by Middletown Ohio. The book chronicles J.   permanent bond with her man, Nando, who presses for marriage
           The Resource Center operated by BHH provides   D. Vance’s rise from his roots as a hillbilly to the heights   and children, even as Maria was pressed by her man Pedro to live
        emergency financial assistance to help with rent,   of American economic and political system, that it is the   together after their twenty four year relationship. Both women
        overdue utilities and childcare.                 validation of the American Dream. Vance is not at all   are distrustful of men, though Alicia has a roaming heart while
           In addition, access to affordable medical, dental and   ashamed of his roots, in attributing his success to his Mamaw   Maria is faithful to her Pedro. Their stories are linked by tragedy
        behavioral care are also provided through a partnership   who instilled in him the values of pride in himself, hard work,   and resiliency, suggested by the title.
        with Genesis Community Health and Florida Atlantic   and ambition. It is a most touching story of escape from his      Yet, one wonders whether the young poet author Ms.
        University’s  Christine  E.  Lynn College of  Nursing   mother’s addictions and mistreatment. One would imagine   Medel, still only in her thirties, is engaging in hyperbole, or
        Community Based Clinics.                         that it had the ingredients for a great movie; but in spite of   rather irony--in calling her book The Wonders. There is little
           BHH is always in need of volunteers, donations and   the work of notable director Ron Howard, the acting of Glenn   hope, Maria and Alicia enjoy a sad but proud life, and points
        food for their pantry. For more information, please call   Close and Amy Adams, the Netflix films released in 2020,   to the notion of Marxism and the feminist movement as a
        561-317-0913 or visit  which I have not seen, has not caused a great stir.  faint glimmer for improvement; the sense of it is there is no
                                                            The values of patriarchy are seen in both books. The   rectification possible, a powerful theme in Spanish literature
           If you are interested in having Mayor Weinroth   patriarchal tradition in Spain has been a dominant influence   where cruel fate governs as in the outcomes of women in
        speak at a community, condo or homeowner         and the two heroines of Elena Medel’s novel accept it wholly.   the writing of the brilliant twentieth century Spanish author,
        association event, please contact our office at (561)   The hillbilly is more about macho than patriarchy. Mamaw   Garcia Lorca. Though it also reads like a version of socialist
        355-2204 or email         with her crusty tongue and shotgun ready to gun down the   realism and proletariat class consciousness as put forth by the
                                                         mailman or any intruder and serve garbage to Papaw when   noted Hungarian Marxist Gyorgy Lukacs. In some way, the
                                                         he shows his frequent drunken state or even lighting him on   plights of Maria, Alicia and J.D. Vance reflect the restrictions
         Lease Renewals                                  fire, another comeuppance for bad behavior. But J.D. finds   imposed by poverty with the prospect of overcoming it through
                                                                                                           education. Nando, Alicia’s husband, can only dream that his
                                                         refuge, love, and understanding in their home away from her
                                                         mother’s cruelty and lax morality. He learns values, to value
                                                                                                           by attaining a university education; but yet absolutely lacking
                                                         hard work whatever it may be, picks up math from Papaw and   yet unborn son Fernandito might escape the ravages of poverty
          Renters- If you plan to renew your lease       life from Mamaw. He serves in the Marine Corps as a prelude   the optimistic outcomes envisioned by Mamaw, Papaw and
        at  Boca  Pointe,  please provide the  BPCA      to college, which sets him on the course of graduating summa   Bev and J.D. Vance himself in Hillbilly Elegy.
        Management office a copy of your renewal         cum laude from Ohio State, and earning a place in Yale Law
                                                                                                              Dr. Ronald J. Meyers, a resident of La Paz, is Emeritus
        lease and vehicle registration prior to your     School, and a future brilliant career in law, in business and     Professor of English. 
                                                         now perhaps in politics.
        lease expiration date. Both items are needed
        to ensure that your transponder does not get
        deactivated when the lease ends. Please email
          Thank you!                                                 VOTE AUG 23

        Vehicle Information

           If you have purchased a new vehicle within the
        past 6 months, please make sure the Boca Pointe    CARYN
        Community Association management office has a copy
        of your current vehicle registration on file. Your gate
        transponder is linked to your vehicle so it is important   SIPERSTEIN
        that we have accurate information in our system.
        Please fax it to (561) 395-5936 or email it to admin@                     FOR
           Thank you for your cooperation!

           BPCA Management team 

         Professional Organizer

         Assistance to help you arrange your home, office, garage,
         or storage unit into an organized and functional space.

                                 Dori Cohen

                               Phone: 561-933-2001
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