The Final Chapter

The success of a story is contingent on its ability to survive. Many stories are preserved as texts, a large contributor to the survival. Stories that are non-textual must be preserved by word of mouth. In Corregidora, by Gayl Jones, the Corregidora women keep their legacy alive by passing on the “evidence” of their own sufferings to their children. To do this the women must “make generations,” then drill the stories so deep into their daughters’ minds that the stories become more like memories. When Ursa Corregidora’s womb is removed, she must confront the frightening reality of her inability to “make generations.” Initially this seems to be what troubles Ursa, but eventually it surfaces that her inability to feel troubles her more substantially. The weight of her families’ memories and stories stifle Ursa, inhibiting her from having stories and memories of her own. She keeps the legacy alive through her music, but unlike her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, her retellings of the stories free her, at least partially, whereas the others are consumed by the horror.

The function of Mama, gram and great-gram’s story telling is to ensure that the legacy of Corregidora and all that they suffered is not forgotten....

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