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The Symbolism and Themes of La Miskisimi: A Literary Analysis

# How to Write an Effective Literary Analysis of La Miski Simi: A Guide for Students and Teachers

La Miski Simi (The Sweet Mouth) is a short story by the Bolivian writer Adolfo Costa du Rels (1891-1980), which is part of his book El Embrujo del Oro (The Spell of Gold) published in 1948. The story tells the tale of Joaquín Ávila, a young man who arrives in Potosí in search of fortune to marry his beloved, and who becomes obsessed with an abandoned mine where there is said to be a vein of silver guarded by a beautiful and mysterious woman.

The story belongs to the narrative genre and can be classified as a mining legend, as it mixes real and fantastic elements related to the world of mining and the Andean culture. The author was inspired by his own experiences as an oil seeker and mine prospector, as well as by the oral traditions of Bolivia.

The story is structured in three parts: the introduction, where the setting of Potosí and the character of Joaquín Ávila are presented; the knot, where the main plot is developed and the conflict between Joaquín and the miski simi is introduced; and the outcome, where the conflict is resolved in a tragic and surprising way.

The story has a first-person narrator, who is Joaquín Ávila himself, who tells his story in the form of a confession or testimony. The narrator uses a simple and colloquial language, with some terms proper to the mining environment and Quechua. The narrator also makes use of literary resources such as description, dialogue, inner monologue, flashback and suspense.

The story has as its central theme human ambition and its consequences. The author shows how Joaquín Ávila lets himself be seduced by the illusion of finding silver and by the beauty of the miski simi, forgetting his true feelings and values. The author also criticizes the exploitation and abandonment of the miners, as well as the loss of cultural identity in the face of colonialism.

The story has as main characters Joaquín Ávila, the miski simi and the uncle. Joaquín Ávila is the protagonist and narrator of the story. He is a naive and in love young man, who arrives in Potosí with the hope of becoming rich and marrying his girlfriend. However, his character changes when he comes into contact with the miski simi, a woman who offers him pleasure in exchange for silver. Joaquín becomes obsessive, selfish and violent, losing his humanity.

The miski simi is the antagonist of the story. She is a beautiful and mysterious woman, who lives in an abandoned mine. She represents temptation and deception, as she attracts miners with her sweetness and then kills them or drives them mad. She also symbolizes the Andean nature and its resistance against colonial plundering.

The uncle is a secondary character, who acts as a mentor or adviser to Joaquín. He is an old miner who knows

the secrets of the mine and warns Joaquín about the dangers of the miski simi. He also represents the wisdom and tradition of the Andean people.

To write an effective literary analysis of La Miski Simi, you need to follow these steps:

- Read carefully and attentively the original text, taking notes of important details, such as characters, setting, plot, theme, style, etc.

- Identify your thesis statement or main argument about the text. For example: "La Miski Simi is a story that reflects on human greed and its tragic consequences."

- Support your thesis statement with evidence from the text, such as quotes, examples or references.

- Organize your analysis into paragraphs, each one focusing on a specific aspect or point of your argument. For example: "In this paragraph I will analyze how Joaquín Ávila's character changes throughout the story."

- Use transitions words or phrases to connect your paragraphs and make your analysis coherent and clear. For example: "However", "In addition", "On the other hand", etc.

- Write an introduction that introduces your topic, provides some background information about the author and the text, and states your thesis statement.

- Write a conclusion that summarizes your main points, restates your thesis statement in different words, and provides some final remarks or implications about your analysis.