A student writes: “The genre of this short story is fantasy. The narrator says that the protagonist couldn’t read or write at the age of 20. That’s completely unrealistic. Also, the protagonist had to leave home and make her own living since the age of 11. This makes no sense. Her parents would never just let her leave and fend for herself at such an early age. Another thing that sounds completely fantastic is that the Coronel was illiterate, too. How could he get to be the Coronel if he didn’t know how to read and write?” [Translation mine.]
Apparently, I’m not managing to explain the concept of a different cultural reality very clearly.