Upside down and gardening in the tropics | English | City University of New York Borough of Manhattan Community College

Eduardo Galeano’s “Upside Down: Primer for a Looking-Glass World” is a rant, tirade, and tantrum made up almost entirely of accusations, which can come across overbearing, but do we perhaps need “overbearing” right about now in this age of gross social injustice? This “upside down world” is one in which crime and sin are rewarded and virtue and humility are exploited and victimized. A “looking-glass” reverses an image rather than turning it upside-down—which is the more accurate metaphor for injustice? In what ways does Galeano exploit this image?

Olive Senior’s “Gardening in the Tropics” uses the garden as a metaphor for searching in the past and discussing how all dead things ultimately decay and transform into food for something else. How does Senior use this motif to discuss cultural politics in the Caribbean? “Gardening” takes place somewhere in between “civilization” and “wilderness”—why does this poet seem so interested in this particular site?

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