"In the Family" - Maria Elena Llano
"In the Family," by Maria Elena Llano, is about a family who discovers that their mirror in their living room was inhabited. At first, no one believed that the mirror reflected the family members who passed away until they saw it and decided to keep it a secret. If one of the family members sat down in an empty chair facing the mirror, another departed family member was sitting in the same chair through the reflection of the mirror. Clara, the family's cousin, came back from her yearly vacation and quickly adapted herself to the news of the inhabited mirror. Clara was a very prideful girl. What ever she says goes. One day, Clara suggests to move the mirror from the dining room to the living room so the family could all eat together. "For a while we ate all together, without further incidents or problems. We musn't forget Clara, however, who we had allowed to sit at the frontier between the two tables, the equator separating what was from what was not" (Llano p. 859). The family enjoyed eating with their departed. They all admired the changes and appearances of the family. With paying little, but not enough, attention to the situation, Clara asked the departed Eulalia to pass the salad from the reflection to the table. Eulalia was lethargic and payed no attention to weather Clara was asking or Gus, another departed member. " There was no time to act. We just watched her grow pale, then her smile faded away until finally Clara collapsed against the mirror" (Llano 860). Clara's face became dull and gray as she finished the salad from the mirror, resulting in falling against the mirror. A while later, the family noticed that Clara was in the reflection of the mirror, but this time she was on the other side looking back at the family. "In fact, a short time later, we realized that there wasn't a great deal of difference between what Clara did before and what she was doing now, and so we decided to overlook the incident and get on with things" (Llano 860). Although the unfortunate inccident did not affect the family's life, they then started to think if the life that they were living, was just a reflection of a mirror on the departed side of the table.
The dining room and the living room.
I think that the characters may have changed a little after the inccident. Although the story says that Clara didn't, I think that the family changed to be more aware and percautious. I also think that the family started to live life to the fullest and as if someone, though the reflection of the mirror, was watching them everyday.
Pride-Clara was prideful and commanding. She always had to get her way and never thought twice about something because she knew she was always right.
Awareness-The family was not aware that Clara was making a regretful move of eating the reflection's salad and was not aware of the consequences that would follow.