English 1111.109 – “Bodies, Households, and Nations: Six Plays”
Cerezita the Hero and Saint:
Meeting Activism Head On
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted . . . . .
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God”
The Beatitudes; Gospel of St. Matthew (5:3-8)
In Cherrie Moraga’s Heroes and Saints
, there is a lack of free speech in the town
of San Joaquin Valley.
The valley is surrounded by an endless expansion of grape
vineyards, pecan tree orchards, and agricultural life.
According to Moraga, written in the
, the soil surrounding the Valley dwellers “should not be confused with land.
What was once land has become dirt, overworked dirt, over irrigated dirt, injected with
deadly doses of chemicals and violated by every manner of ground – and back-breaking
machinery” (Moraga 91).
However, she goes on to say that the community does not
as their enemy.
Rather they remember the way the land used to be
and cling to this memory filled with hope.
The people of San Joaquin Valley are in need
of a hero, a person to take action and fight against the poisoning of their land, water, and
people with harmful pesticides, and a saint, a person to stand for their cause.
this hero and saint. Moraga’s Heroes and Saints
focuses on the journey of Cerezita, an
intelligent girl with no body, acting as the voice of her people.
This paper traces the
rhetoric of the sensuous body from Cerezita’s sensuous tone to the actual mentioning of
the word “body.”
I have discovered that the play repeatedly contains the word “body,”
which appears at least 21 times throughout the play, and rhetoric of body, which includes
the references to the hair, mouth, and tongue. How does Cerezita’s sensuous language