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Island of the Three Marias Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Island of the Three Marias.
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Stanza 1

The island of the Three Marias to which the title refers is Maria Madre, the largest of the four islands ninety miles off the coast of Mazatlán inMexico, and the home of Islas Marias Federal Prison. The prison is unusual in that convicts live in communities, not behind bars. Those who have earned the privilege have been allowed to bring their families to live with them. Historically, the Catholic church has ministered to the prisoners. The first stanza introduces the "pale nuns ofSt. Joseph," workers for the church. The description of Maria Madre as "the island of the just / arrived from having been somewhere else / and will be leaving soon without scars" refers to the missionaries themselves, who have the freedom to come and go as they please, as opposed to the prisoners, who must remain and who will be scarred by their experience on...

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This section contains 1,042 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Island of the Three Marias Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Island of the Three Marias from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.