Introduction & Overview of My Life with the Wave

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My Life with the Wave Summary & Study Guide Description

My Life with the Wave 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 Bibliography on My Life with the Wave by Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz, Mexico's foremost poet of the twentieth century after World War II, was awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. "My Life with the Wave," a surrealist prose poem, first appeared in his collection lAguila o sol? (translated as Eagle or Sun?) in 1951.

In "My Life with the Wave," a man, while at the beach, is seduced by an ocean wave, which insists on following him home to Mexico City. The man and the wave have a passionate, turbulent, love affair, in which the wave is both adoring and demanding. Because she is lonely, he brings her a school of fish to swim in her waters; but, when he becomes enraged with jealousy of her attentions to the fish, he tries to attack them, and the wave nearly drowns him. After that, his love for the wave turns to "fear and hate." To get away from her, he leaves home for a month. When he returns, he finds that the winter weather has turned the wave into "a statue of ice." With cold malice, he sells the frozen wave to a friend of his, a waiter at a restaurant, who chops the ice into small pieces to be used for cooling drinks.

Paz represents the wave as a metaphorical image of a woman in love, associating the feminine with nature, passion, and emotional turbulence. In representing the "authorities" who arrest, interrogate, imprison, and try the narrator, Paz further explores themes of freedom and oppression.

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