The House Sofi Built: Critique of Multiculturalism and Christian Patriarchy in Ana Castillo’s So Far from God

  • Małgorzata PoksEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


In So Far from God, Chicana author Ana Castillo focuses on the consequences of the colonial wound theorized by Gloria Anzaldúa in Bordernalds/La Frontera. Following the lives of four young Chicana women and their resourceful mother Sofi, Castillo’s novel invites an interventionist reading of US multiculturalism. A country that prides itself on its multicultural identity and continues to oppress its minority groups through political, economic and symbolic violence has failed to live up to the promise of the dream of “liberty and justice for all”. Adopting various strategies of survival in the modern world, from failed assimilation to open rebellion against the phallogocentric norm, the novel’s female characters both fall victim to the continuing legacy of coloniality/modernity and struggle to build a viable alternative to their invisibility within the dominant culture. The paper demonstrates how Castillo appropriates the feminine in her decolonial use of Christian spirituality to endow her Chicana characters with agency. Drawing strength from the reintegrated feminine principle, Sofi and her Chicana comadres are capable of constructing a viable vision of a new world across class, race, and gender differences. The feminist utopia imagined in the pages of So Far from God is curiously reminiscent of the Zapatistas’ dream of “a world in which many worlds fit”.


Interculturalism Hagia Sophia Feminist Spirituality Mysticism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of American and Canadian Studies, Institute of English Cultures and LiteraturesUniversity of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland

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