When I first read Emma Zunz’s beginning, I felt the shock or the disaster instantly. The first paragraph was focused on her father’s sudden death. The subtle hint of writing “by an unknown fein o flain”, which means someone who would prefer not to be identified immediately, creates mystery. This was preceded by the notion of fowlplay. My head starts to churn.
The story’s setting is 1922 in the textile factories. Emma would have worked in harsh conditions looking back on history. The economy of the time meant that women working in these environments were not paid well. respect. As I read the text, it made me feel that she would have more motivation and ambition to make amends for her father’s murder. A woman who is angry at a particular situation often becomes more upset than the man. It’s all that connects with that. This is made worse by the inequalities that are part of daily life for men. Emma appears to be struggling with oppression, sexism as well mental illness that is often affected by her 19-year old gender. I don’t think it is possible to live in such an era without being fine. Burges is a great hero for helping her overcome her troubles. I was surprised to learn that the protagonist was a woman when I read about her shame. Fiction often depicts women as lacking. It is often that women are portrayed as villains, heroes or as evil because they have different motivations. You might feel restricted or compelled by your womanhood. For example, they may be mothers to their children or married to their partners. Or, you may be jealous of a man who is cheating them. Even when a female villain is being portrayed, the stereotypical gender boundaries that apply to women are there to keep them in check. According to history, women are less often portrayed as heroes or protagonists. Jorge Luis Borges jumps to Emma immediately and makes it the center of his story. He implements equality, change, and we, as readers, know that Emma will be the hero in the next disaster.
My expectations of the story are changed in the second paragraph. The effect of the passage is different. The speech is descriptive and uses more emotive words. She is able to feel the emotions she has been feeling through her actions in the days before the news was published. We feel her sadness, pain, anger, and buildup to her final blowup. This is almost an attempt to tug at the reader’s heartstrings. I like emotive language. She felt pain, sickness, and uneasiness about the causes. It was all she felt. “She felt blindness, guilt, unreality and fear.” This emotive sentence made me wonder why she felt so guilty. It begs the question, “is that how she feels guilt?” To me, this made her seem like a villain. With her dad’s death, I would have thought that her guilt would stem from something she was holding onto, something in her body that angers and now it is time to ask the question: what is it?
The characters will be different at certain points in the story. Emma Zunz is the character who suffers the most from the first chapter. Her irrational and sometimes violent actions as well as intense emotions seem to indicate that she is mentally unstable. Everything she feels and her brain wiring is sensitive seems to be heightened. Borges describes her compulsive behaviors and suggests that she may have a mental illness. According to my research, the short story Emma Zuni by Borges was indeed well written and motivated using the Freudian theory. Because Emma is conscious of her subconscious, her unconscious and psychological insights are magnified throughout. Borges wrote the first story of this type about infant Emma Zunz. She acts. Jorge’s emotive writing about her emotions and mental state creates the impression that she is the main focus of drama and negativity in the story. It says in paragraph two that “this wish was futile because her father’s death was all that had ever happened in the world” and you can only imagine her feeling vengeance. This sentence demonstrates that her father was an integral part of her daily life. It explains why her emotions will be so strong. She seems bolder now, she is not content to sit in mourning, she will take action and seek revenge.
But everything you hear about him has an unfavorable connotation. It is immediately suspicious that “who could have known he was addressing the daughter of his wife” appears to be a negative connotation. The fact that he addressed his daughter isn’t the first action he describes doesn’t make him a hero.
Emma’s father, Aaron Loewenthal had previously framed Emma and changed his name to Manuel Maier. It is possible to wonder if Emma believed that this man was the reason her father died. Do you think that is why she was so mad? Manuel was not only stabbed in his back twice by this man. Never again.
Loewenthal lied about his embezzlement fraud, framing Emma’s dad to do it. This alone would have been enough for anyone to feel rage. He would be her ultimate suspect if only we could be there. Manuel was not physically killed by him, but he drove him to commit suicide.
How did she feel after killing her employer? Was the pain relieved by the act of vengeance? Manuel died in a tragic accident. Did Manuel’s murder bring about peace? Was it a rash decision made by a confused mind?
Emma Zunz, Jorge Luis Borges’ protagonist, was smart, sensitive, and empathic young woman. She carried the entire universe on her shoulders. As a female reader, it is easy to sympathize. I can only imagine the damage that years of sexual abuse and oppression could cause to a woman. Her strength was more than enough to prove it to herself and to her father.