Knitting the Fog Summary & Study Guide

Claudia D. Hernández
This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Knitting the Fog.
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Knitting the Fog Summary & Study Guide Description

Knitting the Fog Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Knitting the Fog by Claudia D. Hernández.

This guide is based on the following version of this book: Hernández, Claudia D. Knitting the Fog. Feminist Press: New York, NY. 2019.

This book is broken into four parts: “Life in Paradise, Also Known as Hell,” “Our Journey to El Norte,” “The Promised Land,” and “Returning to My Motherland.” Chapters are written in first-person prose, interspersed by occasional poems written in Spanish and translated into English.

In Part I, Claudia describes her childhood and her relationship with her family. Claudia grows up in the small town of Mayuelas with her stern mother, abusive and alcoholic father, and her two sisters Consuelo and Sindy. After her mother leaves for El Norte, Claudia and her sisters are raised by their mother’s aunt. On occasion Claudia goes to visit her grandmother in the nearby town of Tactic where she lives with her new husband and children, Claudia’s mother’s stepsiblings. Claudia wakes up on the day that her mother has left to migrate north. Claudia, who had not been given the news before, is shocked.

This part includes a number of other incidents from Claudia’s childhood, including her thoughts about the towns of Mayuelas and Tactic, her work at the dangerous tortilla mill, and her thoughts and feelings about her mother’s siblings. Claudia is asked to confess her sins before baptism. When she is ten years old, her mother returns from Los Angeles to fetch Claudia and her sisters and bring them to the U.S.

The second part describes the family’s journey northward. Their journey takes them from their town to Guatemala City, across the border into the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, then across the Río Bravo, to Los Angeles. There they reunite with Mamá’s new lover, a kind and gentle Guatemalan man named Amado. Sindy still wishes to return to her life in Guatemala.

The third part opens with a chapter only a couple of paragraphs long. It describes Amado’s gentle and warm welcome to the family. In subsequent chapters, Claudia is enrolled in school, where her Guatemalan accent and inability to speak English mark her as strange and different. She and Consuelo take English classes after school. Mamá remains very strict with the girls, refusing to allow them to have sleepovers and to go on class field trips. When Claudia contradicts her mother’s orders, Mamá makes her kneel for hours in lentils that she has scattered over the floor.

The fourth part of the memoir is set in 1992, when Mamá takes Claudia and Consuelo back to Guatemala in order to recover papers and documents necessary to apply for amnesty. Claudia is struck by how little has changed in Mayuelas. Tía Soila tells stories about Mamá’s rough childhood. Mamatoya interrupts and tells a story about her dead brother explaining why years ago she left Mamá behind in Mayuelas rather than taking her with her to Tactic. The whole family cries. The memoir ends with Claudia expressing her gratitude to the strong women who have raised her over the years.

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This section contains 514 words
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