Language of Cofer’s “Volar” Short Story
Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Volar is written in the first person, and the story represents the power of language on a private and public level. One can see private language as the narration of Judith recalling her childhood fascination with comic books and the wish to have superpowers such as “X-ray vision” and “super-breath” (Cofer, 2006, p. 1). However, as the author is quite open with her discussion, it seems to belong to a public level. On the other hand, the conversations between Judith’s parents are more private as they are during “their time together” (Cofer, 2006, p. 1). In many of those conversations, Judith’s mother expresses the desire to visit her “familia,” but the father refuses due to the lack of money (Cofer, 2006, p. 2). For Judith, her comic books and imagination help her evade reality, “changes would be taking place” (Cofer, 2006, p. 1). For her mother, the view from the kitchen window serves as a way to escape, making her want to fly (Cofer, 2006). Cofer’s storytelling can be harmful, suggesting a lack of hope when both children and adults wish to change their ordinary lives.