The People, what is?

Posted by: | January 18, 2009 | Comments Off on The People, what is?

Who are the people? What do they represent? How are they incorporated into the creation of the Nation?

In Eva Peron’s “My Message”, the People, above anything else, is the focus. The ultimate epicenter of her piece. Eva, taking on a somewhat mother-like persona, repeats that she holds a strong love for People of the Nation. Eva reaches out to the “descamisados, the women, the workers… the world’s exploited people”, all of whom represent the People, and at the same time she condemns the “imperialists”, “clergy” and “ambitious men”. As a result Eva Peron creates a People versus “them” divide which on one side allows her to side with the People, yet goes against “togetherness” and “solidarity” that she talks about.
The People to whom she refers to are juxtaposed to and often paralleled to Peron, the former President of Argentina. Over and over again Eva Peron describes how Peron, her husband, understood the People, drawing the connection between the two so that they became a single body. Eva furthers her argument that they both not only share her love, “love for the People”, “love for Peron”, but also the love for freedom and justice.
Placed at the opposing front is the military, the clergy, and oligarchy, to which Eva denounced as misunderstanding, steeling and exploiting the People and thus Peron. One a literary level I felt it was particularly fascinating to read “My message” and truly feel the energy and the adrenaline that Eva brought about through her description and persuasion of “fanaticism”. It played so beautifully well to the emotions, that indifference, an effortless manifestation of empathy, created a stark and unacceptable contrast in the mind and body.
It was believable that Eva Peron and the Peronist movement was the ultimate People’s rights and freedom movement (through Eva’s words in “My message” and Jimenez’s description of Eva, as having been “ a blessing for Argentina,”) until reading the “A celebration of the Monster” by Luis Borges. In a uniquely intimate way of writing, Borges was able to shed light on another perception, one that is unexpected, if only having read “My message” to the brutal side of Peronist movement. In this short story, the young man in the military (the narrator) who seems to be proud of the beating and killing of the “read Jew”, unravels the brutal truth of the military and Peronist relationship. How the military acts as a perpetuator for the Peronist doctrine through their spread of propaganda on walls in support of Peron while masking themselves as the People, is shocking if one has only read the “My message” side of the story.
Now to come back to the question what is the People, the People in Eva’s story seem to represent whatever she wants them to represent, so long as it promotes her ideals and values. The People, in the case of Borges short story, present a truer depiction of people. Through Borges style of narration, the voice of the young military man reveals a realistic side of Argentina. A realistic side of Argentina that encompasses the brutal murder, the random and unexplainable anger that drew the men to their first killing on the way to the march, the constant bullying of the young man by other members of the military and all the barbarous, corrupt and pitiless side of humankind.


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