The Day of The Dead – Summary | Major English Class 12

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The Day of DeathMajor English | Notes
Summary of “The Day of The Dead”
Major (Optional) English
Grade: XII | Unit: Encounters
Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz in the essay “The Day of the Dead” presents the psychological and cultural motivations behind the popularity of fiestas in Mexico. The Mexican people celebrate fiestas with all the colors, strange costumes, dancing, fireworks, drinking, shouting and gathering together. By means of fiestas Mexican people free themselves from the monotony of life, solitude, order, rigidity, poverty and harsh reality. During fiestas, society frees itself from the laws, traditions, order and come out purified with new energy.

In certain fiestas, the very idea of order disappears, chaos comes back and sexual freedom rules. All the social, sex, caste and trade differences disappear. Fiestas are like revolution because individual dissolves in mass and forms a unity. The people reveal their hidden secrets and desires and free themselves from mental burden.

Important Questions:

  • What are the Mexican attitudes towards the celebrations of life and death?
  • What are the factors which make fiestas so popular in Mexico and what are the psychological and cultural motivations behind them?

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