The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes Essay

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The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

The Old Gringo is a fiction novel written by one of Latin America's most renowned and eloquent authors, Carlos Fuentes. Filled with war, adventure, love and more, this novel takes you back to the Mexican revolution fought in 1912. This contemporary fiction is based on many themes found and experienced by the main characters in this novel. The relationship between Mexico and the United States, the drive to find one's true self and the different ways two men need a woman are only a few themes contained in this story. The question: Is he Ambrose Bierce or just an old gringo, is one that I had to answer while reading this book. We all have different opinions, but it is a question that all ask
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The setting also influenced one of the major themes of the story, the historical relationship between the United States and Mexico. As you can see, the setting of this novel was very important to everything included in this story.

The main characters in this story are Harriet Winslow, the old gringo, and Tomas Arroyo. Of the Three, Harriet learns the most as she starts her new life as governess across the frontier. She is a dynamic character that changes in the story because of the things that happen around her. Other characters include Manslavo, La Garduna, Frutos Garcia, La Luna and more. Carlos Fuentes did a very good job of describing these characters and paints a picture, like all great authors, of the characters portrayed in their novels.

Most of the story revolves, however, not around the old gringo but the young gringa, Harriet Winslow. Harriet Winslow is a Yankee spinster, who decides one day in 1912 to break loose from her humdrum life by taking a job as governess in Mexico. Once she arrives, she is immediately caught in the middle of the Mexican revolution. Here, she meets the general, Tomas Arroyo, and the American author, the old gringo. Harriet is described as a, 'quick, elegant, and a beautiful woman of thirty.'; In a discussion with Miss Harriet and the old gringo, we learn that her father disappeared in the Spanish-American War somewhere in Cuba.

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