86 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2020

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Essay Topics


Among Clap When You Land’s various allusions is the epic tradition of nostos, in which a young (usually male) hero of an epic poem sails over a vast body of water to attain glory, most often by completing a quest or fighting in a battle. In what ways does Acevedo embrace or subvert this concept in her own poetic epic?


Although only offered to readers in glimpses, Tía Solana seems occasionally to perform small miracles, such as when she resuscitates Carline’s stillborn baby in time with the return of the lights after the blackout. If Clap When You Land is set in a relatively realistic world that obeys our laws of physics, how does the possibility of magic make meaning in the text?


Camino’s interior monologue returns repeatedly to the image of the resort where Carline works, especially when Camino considers, “I am from a playground place [...] Our land, lush & green, is bought & sold to foreign powers so they can build luxury hotels for others to rest their heads” (159). In what ways is the resort a negative presence in Sosúa? Support your answer with citations from the text.