Literature is one of the many ways through which we synthesize information about different elements of human nature. Interestingly, most works of literature reflect the lives, aspirations and dreams of authors. One such literary work belongs to Annecy Baez, who is a poetic and short story writer. This paper presents a literary critique of the short story namely Aura in relation to Baez biography.
Main Theme Versus Annecy Baez’ life
Baez has written many stories in the book “My daughter’s eyes: and other stories”. However, Aura came out as one of the strongest of them all in presenting reality of life as it was in times of the writer. The story tells of a woman called Aura who was an ardent traditional spiritual healer of her times.
It is believed that she had no concrete family background and that her past was like a book without previous chapters. This by itself is surprising since there is hardly any information known about the author, Baez. All is known in most of her biographies is that she was born in Dominican republic, brought up in Bronx and now lives in Irving. Her literature work overshadows her biography.
Aura was a spiritual woman who could heal virtually any spiritually related problems. She could exercise spiritual cleansing using concoctions, rituals and magic. It can be argued that this represents the same scenario in which the author herself grew in. this is true bearing in mind that Baez grew up in Bronx, a region which was poverty ridden during her early times.
Aura depicts the way poor societies dealt with their societal issues. People sought spiritual intervention for problems such as sexual violence, poverty, restlessness and family issues. It is surprising that Boaz grew up in similar societal settings and this could have inspired her to write this piece of literature.
Aura is represented as a mysterious woman with a history nobody could understand. The author used her to expound on theme of the literature. Aura’s character impeccably develops the theme of “society and spirituality”. The author represented her as a mystery which no one could understand.
The way the character is represented is a perfect mirror of the real situation the author experienced. This is because she lived in the same society setting that we live in, a society where no one knows the real concise origin of religion and spirituality. Different societies have different spiritual beliefs but the source of such beliefs has no definite proof.
One spiritual aspect that comes out clearly from the story is the conflict between different spiritual beliefs. The story depicts Aura as a spiritual realm of the society. But in the same society, other people believe in Christianity. There is man who has an open air crusade in the street where he calls people to give their lives to Jesus.
This demonstrates the diversity in spiritual beliefs within the same society. Certainly, this is the same society that Baez experienced when she was growing up in Bronx. She grew up in a multicultural and multi religious society and this could have inspired her to take this kind of approach in this literature work.
It is very interesting how Baez decided to explore role of spirituality in the society. This is clearly demonstrated on Aura’s spiritual approach to the spirit of sexual immorality. She claimed that the man with the “Zangano” spirit needed to be cleansed of this sexual immorality spirit.
She talks and argues with Zuki about erasing memories of the Zangano infested man in order to free him of his desire to exploit young children. This brings out to light how spirituality can be used to solve virtually any societal problem. This concept mirrors the author’s life. It can be argued that Baez uses her literature work to address different issues in the society such as sexual immorality, child abuse, poverty, family conflicts and spirituality in the same way Aura’s story tries to solve different societal problems using a spiritual approach.
Aura is one of the best pieces of literature that reflects issues of the society in an ingenious way. The story expresses theme of spirituality and how it is used by society to address different issues affecting them. Surprisingly, Aura seems to be inspired by environment and the life of the author. It has been seen that the story mirrors similar societal settings that Baez experienced. It doesn’t come by surprise that her literature work tries to address problems of the society the same way issues are addressed spiritually in Aura.
Baez, Annecy. My daughter’s eyes: and other stories. New York: Curbstone Press, 2007.