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In Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987), Gloria Anzaldúa described the US- Mexican border as “una herida abierta” and in La Frontera de Cristal (1995), Carlos Fuentes describes it as “una enorme herida sangrante.” This metaphor is echoed, though implicitly, in different depictions of the border, be they testimonial or literary, and is demonstrated in the physical and the psychological damage sustained by those involved in the process of crossing northwards. It is, in fact, this damage—the wound in its various forms—that rendered the border between the US and Mexico one of the world’s most overbearing barriers that not only separate one culture from another, but is also constantly involved in a relentless attempt at imposing a jarring distinction between native and alien.   This paper explores the manifestations of the wound metaphor The Guardians (2007) by Ana Castillo and The River Flows North by Graciela Limón (2009). This will be done through first analyzing the metaphor as tackled by Anzaldúa and Fuentes then examining the detrimental impact of the border on characters that are affected by it in one way or another whether through attempting to cross to the United States, crossing back to Mexico, or living in border towns. While this paper mainly focuses on literary works, constant reference will be made to other types of texts dealing with border crossing whether testimonials such as The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2004) by Luis Alberto Urrea or anthropological studies such as The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (2015) by Jason de Leon. The harrowing depiction of the dark world of border crossings in Yuri Herrera’s novel Señales que precederán al fin del mundo (2015) will also serve as a framework against which the wound metaphor will be examined.

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Sonia Farid 3753
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