Week Four

There is something very special about a well written letter or speech. It makes you get goose pumps, sends shivers down your spine and more importantly it inspires you. All three of these documents did that for me.

First the Bolívar, the Letter from Jamaica, a letter speaking of the hardships and the mountains they had to climb to achieve the goal of independence. Second Martí, “Our America” an anti-american piece driven towards calling Latin Americans to unify. Lastly, the famous President Chávez delivering a riveting speech summoning a new project to light.

I found all three written narratives very intriguing but I thoroughly enjoyed José Martí’s the most. I can understand why this piece is important to the Latin American identity. His use of literary devices made his letter and his character much more alluring. This piece is full of endless metaphors, “Whatever is left of that sleepy hometown in America must awaken” (24). I find this a great call for action, almost a war cry. Martí’s words created a beautiful picture of independence and unity. As well, that he is rather negative towards westernization of Cuba and Latin America and considerably anti-american.

On page twenty-six and twenty-seven of “Our Americas” he speaks of education and the importance of educating the masses about this history, “simply knowing the factors without blindfolds or circumlocutions is enough.” I find that in this paragraph he speaks great truth about history, “solving the problem after knowing its elements is easier than solving it without knowing them.” This can be used for any part of history, but especially for the Latin Americas regarding the European colonization. I strongly believe that education is the key to success, peace and prosperity in our world. If we are all taught about the impacts and devastation this has had we are more likely to be able to solve problems in the future using this knowledge. This history should not be put in a trunk and hidden away until after the next tragedy. This is why there should be classes such as Latin American Studies, where we look at the results of colonization and begin a new pattern.

I really enjoyed this weeks readings and videos, analyzing a speech from an important leader makes the events that much more real. The authors of the pieces paint the true picture, with all the colours that are needed to portray the pain. The perceptions of these leaders are very important as I would assume they are the same as the masses.

5 thoughts on “Week Four

  1. CennediMills

    I also found the readings this week extremely inspirational. It was interesting to see the different techniques each leader used to draw in the listener or reader.

  2. Haroun Khalid

    When reading José Martí, I also noticed that he seemed to be trying to unite the varying peoples Latin America by setting them apart from a European or North American “other.” This seemed most clear when he referred to American practicing European traditions as “imitation”

  3. Nayid Contreras

    Hi Haroun,
    I must agree with you with regards that education is the key for prosperity and for solving many of our contemporary global issues. I think that Marti’s poetic language has a profound appeal in many people, and in my case, it has a lot of meaning because, like you said, it talks about the power of the ideas which leads to action.
    Marti’s used of literary devices, shows his sensitive side but also incorporates his political views that are also very important and even though, he belonged to a privilege part of Cuba society, he never forgot the majority of mix-raced countryman.
    I think that when we read letter, speeches, or poetry, for example, we get a good glimpse of the true nature of an individual. For this reason, just like you did, I also enjoyed these weeks’ readings.

  4. yusuke sakanashi

    This week’s reading were interesting in a way that we were exposed to inspirational speeches and could observe their techniques and what they are trying to achieve.

  5. Samy Megalli

    Amy, I agree with you that Marti’s piece came off almost as a “war cry” at times, you could really feel all of the passion that he put into it.


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