De Lizardi's Mangy Parrot Essay

1530 Words7 Pages
The parrot is a beautiful and intelligent bird. Mange is a festering disease that caused by parasitic mites that dig into the body and results in unsightly sores and unremitting irritation. Who or what does The Mangy Parrot refer to? Is Mangy Parrot simply Periquillo’s nickname or is it a metaphor for New Spain as well? The parrot is symbolic of the lands and people of New Spain; the colonial government is the mange infecting the land. Through the use of native language, humor and satire Fernández de Lizardi communicated his message via a multi-leveled story and thus avoided censorship. The serialized newspaper publication permitted the tale to reach the masses and encouraged discussion and debate over an extended period of time. De…show more content…
Throughout the story Periquillo’s father functions as the voice of reason and forward thinking. Periquillo’s mother provides a counter as the arrogant, sentimental opinion of the Spanish nobility. In preparation for his son’s future, Periquillo’s father desires that Periquillo learn a trade or a profession, stating that, “better a bad workman than a good vagabond.” (de Lizardi, p. 11) His mother is horrified, she states that it would be humiliating and “that a hidalgo without a trade is better accepted, and treated as more distinguished in any decent place, than any hidalgo who is a tailor, tinker, painter and so on.” (de Lizardi, p. 12) By chapter 42, Periquillo absurdly believes that his father was in the dark ages and that nobles need to leave all the work to the plebeians and the poor, that the rich exist to gamble, wear nice clothes, hold parties and dances. He relates the Spaniards view, “inferiors with contempt, and the …unfortunate poor with disgust and with…criminal hatred, merely because they were poor.” (de Lizardi, pp. 179-180) De Lizardi’s message to the masses is that although three hundred years have passed, many Spanish still view themselves as superior and rightful subjugators of the rest of society. He wants his readers to become angry as they realize that the people who do the actual work in society are not

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