Abstract

Abstract:

This essay argues that the narrator's description on the last page of Carlos Fuentes' "Chac Mool" provides us with a tantalizing suggestion about the sexual orientation of the Indian who opens the door for the narrator in the surprise ending. Furthermore, it argues for an alternative story that is hinted at, not by what is said, but by what is not said, suggesting Filiberto's implied homosexuality and the "moral depression" that he suffers because of it. The narrator's final description of the Indian who answers the door at the end of the story is clearly one of a man in drag. He wears a bathrobe with a scarf around his neck; his face is powdered, his hair dyed, and lipstick is smeared on his mouth. This image serves to complicate and question the validity of Filiberto's identity and the machismo that underpins it, that is, la mexicanidad as championed by political nationalists of the last century who argue that Mexicans constitute a homogeneous mestizo population, neither fully European nor fully indigenous, but rather an amalgam of conflicting races and cultures. Nonbinary sexuality is erased from this picture. My position is that this story is less about supernatural events and more about a critique of Mexico's construction of identity and its relationship with the indigenous past and present.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-203X
Print ISSN
1557-2021
Pages
pp. 62-76
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-02
Open Access
No
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