Month: November 2013

What does the phrase “Crystal Frontier” mean?

As a huge motivator behind this novel, Carlos Fuentes used his political career and the North American Free Trade Agreement as a catapult into this novel, The Crystal Frontier. The stereotype for Mexico encompassed all things negative; polluted, cheap, and lazy, among other unfavorable characteristics, which lead to Americans widely unsupportive of NAFTA. The general consensus, was ‘how could the Mexican people help Americans?’ So to get support for the NAFTA pact the media began to use the negative stereotypes against the American public. For instance they would say, “Don’t you think you can compete with the Mexicans?’ who were paid extremely low wages for hard work. American’s responded with yes we could and most of the public opinion changed to be in favor of the pact or at last to not oppose it so harshly. So now knowing the context surrounding the NAFTA pact and how opposed Americans were to this agreement with Mexico, how do you think this shapes the phrase and name of this novel, ‘The Crystal Frontier’? Do you think the word crystal means to suggest an ability to see through the political jargon surrounding Mexican and American relations, or being able to see into the political goings on, but being deceived through reflections of the media perceptions which educated the public. Like a crystal which refracts many different distracting colors, did the media play a part in convoluting the NAFTA pact and in doing so, convoluting the relations between Mexico and America as countries and as individual people. Is the name satiric? What do you think?

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