Liberation In Latin America

Decent Essays
Cultures from around the world have evolved to hold unique values and standards, but one common thread binds them all together- liberation. The theme of liberation or freedom manifests itself in works from all over the world, taking on different aspects to fit the time in which the story takes place. In Latin America, writers explore the concept of social realism, in which an artist depicts contemporary life realistically in order to make a political comment on society’s current situation. This stems from a long history of turmoil and unrest in the region, including corrupt leaders and poor living and working conditions for a majority of the population. Similarly, in Africa, the colonial takeover and exploitation of small villages led to…show more content…
Another way to see liberation in global literature is as liberation of the mind from the mundane existence and suffering of human life. This category is one commonly found in Indian literature, stemming from the ideas of Nirvana and Karma and the break between the suffering of life into a more peaceful realm. For ages, cultures around the world have showcased the inherently human theme of liberation in their literature as a means of political statement, rebellion against exploitation, or description of a level of mental state, creating unspoken unity among the human race. The theme of liberation is perhaps most obvious in works of literature from Latin America. The long history of communism and impoverished living conditions in the region drives artists to explore the concept of social realism as a vehicle for political assertion (art is often used for this reason, especially in situations where voicing one’s opinions outright might lead to trouble). In In the Time of the Butterflies, the Mirabal sisters are depicted as the daughters of a small store owner, in a town where many campesinos, or peasants, live. “Many a night, and this is no different, a shy voice calls out of the darkness, begging their pardon. Could they spare a calmante for a sick child out of…show more content…
African oppression through leadership began in the late nineteenth Century with the Berlin Conference (1884-85). During this time, the newly industrialized European powers gathered together in order to divide Africa up amongst themselves for imperialism. Imperialism is a form of government in which a mother-country maintains governmental control of a nation, meanwhile extracting the country’s natural resources. This practice came about with industrialization since the growing infrastructure led to a call for more materials. Colonizers would gain the trust of a clan through trade, religion, and the wealth the Europeans brought with them. After trust was established they began their tyrannical rule. In Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo, documents his clan’s take-over. “‘He came quietly and peacefully with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one’” (Achebe 152). Once Okonkwo realizes his clan’s grave mistake in taking the missionaries in, he attempts to strike a rebellion, however fails, eventually reverting to suicide to free himself from the mess the European colonizers placed him and his people (the Igbo) in. It is in this way that African literature exemplifies the theme of liberation.
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