Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
Lewis's article presents a creative and exciting approach for understanding the importance elderly people have not only in the family but in the community as well. He blends literary personification, cultural integration, and social science strategies for illustrating Chicano traditions and their relationships to the aging process. Literary works involving curandero/curandera and abuelo/abuela folk traditions depict reverance [reverence], honor, power, and prestige as engaging qualities inherited by the elderly. Lewis's analysis of Anaya's Bless Me Ultima and Santiago's Famous All Over Town illustrate the congruence folk traditions have with the positive aspects of the aging process. By using literature to illustrate how cultural traditions are transmitted, Lewis shows social scientists the importance of creative fiction in rendering accurate, realistic portraits of people.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1985