Essay on Deep Rivers

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Rivers: A Reflection of History

Deep Rivers can be seen as an allegory for historical conflicts in South America. The novel can be seen as a symbolic narrative of not only the problems that Indians faced in Peruvian society, but also Jose Argueda’s childhood and his struggle to find his identity. Deep Rivers is beneficial to the reader because it is a first hand account of the problems that Indians faced in Peru, thus allowing the reader to make a deeper connection to the novel and understand what was going on at that date and time. Through the narrator of the novel one begins to truly understand the injustice that Native Americans faced and understand how the author (Arguedas) viewed this dilemma. The book intricately works in
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He knows he needs only himself, he even says so in the novel, “On those days I decided I didn’t need my little friends. I was exalted by my decision to march along invincibly. Like you, Pachacha River!” Last but not least, I believe the title of the book has to do with the Colonos. Their arrival is like a river. Nothing has been able to stop them, not even armed guards. They are the deep rivers of the novel, triumphantly chasing the plague out of the city with bravery and song. Despite the fact that like a river the colonols may seem passive, Ernesto realizes that, when motivated, the colonos are capable of great deeds.

The social and political conditions that affect the characters in Arguedas’s novel are rooted in Peru’s colonial past. Before the Conquest the native population of Peru lived in cities or, for the most part, in small farming communities. These communities were subdivided into ayllus, a word from the Quechua language that primarily refers to an extended family and the land that they tend to together. Ayllu land was separated into three parts. All produce from the first part was reserved for use by the community. (Jacobs) A second part was stored in community warehouses to be used in case of crop failure or famine within the community itself or in other communities. A third part was owed to the Inca, and used by the army, the
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