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Why Women Love Men by Rosario Ferr from The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories I found particularly interesting and beautifully crafted Its a story of two women Isabel Luberza Ambrosios wife and Isabel la Negra his lover When he died he left each of them with half of his inheritance At first they thought that he did it on purpose to push them both downhill to see which one of them had won But later they realized that he did it to meld them to make them fade into each other so that their true face would finally come to surface One of them Isabel la Negra was a prostitute the other Isabel Luberza was a lady But both of them knew that theres a prostitute in every lady and vice versa Both of them wanted to be like the other one and both of them hid that part under their skin Ferr devises a way of underscoring this idea of fractured self by calling them different names like Isabel the Slavedriver Isabel the Red Cross Lady Isabel the Rumba Isabel the Popular Party Lady Isabel the Trastamara Elizabeth the Black Saint Elizabeth Isabel the Black Pearl of the South to show us how many different sides each of these women had and that put together they were a composite of womanhood as dictated by a chauvinistic patriarchal society Isabel Luberza polished her fingernails with Cherries Jubilee the shrill and gaudy color that Negroes usually prefer Isabel la Negra dreamt about being a lady a wife sitting on the balcony with Ambrosio as an honorable woman Throughout the story Ferr shifts the narrators voice between the two women and sometimes she does it so suddenly that at first its impossible to understand whos the speaker But as you go deeper into the paragraph it becomes clear Although sometimes it seems like both women speak at the same time As Isabel Luberza sits
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