Conclusion: Crowds on Mexico City’s Subway: The Ultimate Challenge

  • Rebecca Janzen
Part of the Literatures of the Americas book series (LOA)


My final comments about the body, power, and alternatives to the cosmic race shift away from Pedro Simón walking in a cemetery. Pedro Simón, and the other characters’ fictional represented bodies were a way to think through the past; I would also like to think through the present. Chronicle and social media, like literature, also allow us to examine questions relating to power and the body. These genres shed light on a common experience in Mexico City—taking the subway. These portrayals, in some ways, echo the literary texts by Revueltas, Rulfo, Castellanos, and Lenero, which represented the experiences of everyday people in other parts of Mexico and in earlier decades. Chronicle and social media explore how, every day, nine million chilangos [people from Mexico City] go down long escalators to the subways underneath Mexico City, a system that was designed for only three million of them. They get in line, load transit cards with their five peso fares, are herded by transit police, board a train, apply their makeup, flirt with transit police, and travel for an hour or more. They may transfer to another subway line, perhaps walking long distances under black-lit constellations in the Tunnel of Science at the La Raza station. Carlos Monsiváis chronicles this multifaceted experience in Los rituales del caos [Rituals of Chaos] and Apocalipstick [Apocalypse-Lipstick].


Mexico City Collective Identity Subway Station Subway System Religious Expression 
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© Rebecca Janzen 2015

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  • Rebecca Janzen

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