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Negotiation between Tradition and Translation: Searching for Cuban Identity in A Little Something to Ease the Pain

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2020, 33(1), pp.183-205
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 13, 2020
  • Accepted : April 14, 2020
  • Published : April 30, 2020

Yon-hee Chun 1

1성신여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is an exploration to the diasporic identity of an exile Cuban playwright in the play A Little Something to Ease to Pain by Rene R, Alomá. The play explores the aspect of conflict between the life of tradition and transnation/translation of Paye, who is designated as an alter ego of Alomá. Aloma involuntarily escaped his motherland and has been a diaspora. The play’s theatrical environment is set in the 1970s when the Castro regime temporarily allowed Cubans free movement in and out of Cuba . A reason for this setting was to investigate the socio/political meaning of the temporary return of the divisive Cuban playwright Paye. After introducing the terms to define diasporic Cubans, Cubanidad, Cubanismo, Cubania, Cubaneo, this paper illuminates the term ‘fidelista’ which designates the people who have remained in Cuba, advocating the Castro revolution. Aloma suggests they are the genuine power source which has sustained the life of Cubans, but also introduces the Cubans who are seeking the way to escape Cuba due to conflicting political ideals. Aloma alludes the solidarity of Cubans by portraying a strong family bond through the paradigms surrounding Cacha, traditional carnival, and the Cubans positive attitude, which are related to the term ‘Euphoria.’ Euphoria reminds Paye/Aloma of the invisible value of life he has sought in the journey of his life as a ‘translator.’ The play delicately portrays the inner conflicts of Paye as a Cubanidad/ Cubanismo, who has to choose one between the desire to follow the traditional value by resettling in Cuba and the maintenance of diasporic life due to the future insecurity in his homeland. His dilemma between translation and tradition represents the dilemma of all the Cuban diaspora.

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