Anaya’s Albuquerque and Culture

Anaya’s novel is named after a place, not after a character or event. Why?

The novel is named after a place, Albuquerque, because the city’s culture guides the story as a whole. It represents the conflict of multiple cultural identities and the conflict between the past, the present, and the future. It seems to me that, Albuquerque, as a city, is on a similar journey in search of its identity that Abran is on. It is also trying to reconcile its heritage with its present-day development and the direction of its future.  As a result, the title is a metaphor for the city and the protagonist, and the journey that they both go on.

Ultimately, what does the novel suggest about this kaleidoscope of cultures in a large, modern city? What perspective do you gain on Albuquerque?

Domenic is an interesting example of what the novel suggests about culture in a large and modern city. He is determined to be recognized as a descendant of a Spanish Duke in order to gain wealth and status. His drive is an example of basic human greed for power which typically comes with immense pride (pride in things that one has no influence over, like ancestry). Instead of trying to do something to honor his ancestors, he uses their name in a blasphemous and perverted way (I think, of course that depends on the ancestors). In terms of what this suggests about the city at large, it suggests that Albuquerque is populated by people who only appear to be different on the surface. Its leaders may have a particular and unique heritage but the greed for power is unfortunately common to all cultures throughout the world.

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