Silent Dancing essay

Living a pleasant and responsible life is imperative since people tend to emulate each other’s lifestyle. In fact, embracing erroneous ethical beliefs or giving less attention to how people in the society view you compromises the possibility of one becoming a role model. As such, it is essential for people to be conscious about their behavioral implications to their immediate environment. In the title, Silent Dancing, Judith Ortiz Cofer presents a compelling argument on the implications other people’s behaviors have on the lives of other people. In this presentation, Cofer describes how difficult it was to adapt to the new environment in the United States after having been accustomed to the life in Cuba during his childhood. However, after settling in this alien nation, he manages to gain some form of stability by learning from other people. Cofer describes the influence of three important women in his life that include her mother, her eighteen-year-old cousin and her brother’s girlfriend. For a fact, maintaining good behavior in the society is imperative since people learn from one another.


Coffer learned to be a responsible child through her mother’s strict nature. Owing to the fact that parents are tasked with the responsibility to ensure their children grow up to be responsible individuals, Ortiz Coffer was taught to lead a responsible and lucrative life. For instance, Cofer’s mother constantly punished the children when they engaged in unacceptable behavior. The children got scolded for hitting the pipe while trying to establish a form of communication amongst themselves. By punishing them for what was seemingly inappropriate, Cofer’s mum delineated good and bad behavior. She could, therefore, chose to capitalize on the constructive life principles and the lessons taught by her mother on how to be responsible. Therefore, one is justified to claim that Cofer’s mother influenced the young lady to be an ethical and responsible person.

Cofer learned to be an ethical child from her mother. This provision is largely accredited to the fact that her mother made it a top priority to instill the Cuban moral values in her children. Despite the fact that this family was in an alien environment, Cofer’s mom did not let down her guard while monitoring the behaviors of his children. When she noted that the influence of the parties at the El Building would compromise the beliefs upheld by the children, she made an effort to inform his husband of the need to move out of that house. In fact, when she noted that the nature of the values upheld by the members of her family were not influential, she made it a priority to keep off bad company. For instance, she constantly dined at a different restaurant away from the influence of other Cuban immigrants. This approach ensured that she filtered erroneous behaviors of her family and prevent the emulation of such characters by the children.

Eighteen-year-old cousin

Cofer embraces the need to be humble by learning from her sister’s drawbacks. In her life, this young lady always sought to understand things from her perspective. As such, it was nearly impossible to rehabilitate her from her erroneous behavior. The author mentions that humble girls rarely looked up to the camera and gave a compelling smile. However, her cousin’s attitude and lack of humility compromised her overall responses to challenging life situations. For instance, she replaced her moral values with what she apparently believed in even though it was wrong. She believed that the Cuban culture was less superior to the United States’. As a result, she constantly associated herself with the American natives. She looked down upon most of her family members when they tried to convince her to embrace a constructive lifestyle. However, her pride led her into pregnancy at a tender age. 

Cofer learns the importance of being independent in one’s affairs through hard work. In addition to the inadequacies her eighteen-year-old cousin has when relating with other people, she is very dependent on the efforts of other people. For starters, she is resentful of her family and culture as it is stricken with severe poverty. As a result, she decides to associate herself with the Americans as she is vert materialistic and cynical. She has a white boyfriend, who has a car, and she takes some credit for owning the vehicle. Due to her lack of independence and materialism, she ends up being pregnant at a tender age. As a result, Cofer learns from her cousin to be independent and non-materialistic.

Brother’s girlfriend

Cofer embraces the need to be well mannered and focused from her brother’s girlfriend. Her sitting posture in the living room reveals her level of maturity and intelligence. This claim is largely attributed to the fact that she cares about other members of the family will perceive her if she did not sit appropriately in the living room. Additionally, her choice of dressing enlightens people on the importance of being well mannered regardless of the situation. As she was seated next to her cousin, she was cautious about the sitting posture she maintained and the overall position of her dress. The author notes that she pulled it away from the sides to ensure that she gave enough room for others to sit comfortably. This provision makes one appreciate the fact that this character has a steady foundation on her manners and she knows what she wants to achieve. Cofer, consequently, embraced these constructive principles from her brother’s girlfriend. 

In conclusion, the fact that people learn from one another compels individuals to behave accordingly. The story, Silent Dancing, effectively communicates the influences individuals have on other people because of their character. Cofer learns how to be an ethical, responsible and social individual from her mother. On the other hand, she learns from the inadequacies of her cousin how to be humble and independent. Finally, she sees the need to be well mannered and focused from her cousin. Without a doubt, these three women deliver a variety of life lessons to Cofer due to their differences in personality, ethical appeal and culture.

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Silent Dancing essay

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