Who are “the people” ???

Posted by: | January 20, 2009 | Comments Off on Who are “the people” ???

Eva Peron’s discussion of “the people” is confusing, particular, exacting and seemingly un-populated. If she claims that her Argentina, in its true essence, is the people then perhaps she should have been more inclusive. Whatever the case may be, this term “the people” is ambiguous to me. Having read the Borges paper as well I feel the term is even more arbitrary. It seems through his narrative in “everyday” lingo he is appealing to the very same people as Eva Perón, or even writing as one of the descamisados.
Perón writes problematically about women in that she is constructing a very particular and specific Argentine woman. While she may claim to be appealing to the people, and their inherent humanity, she seems to be doing so on very exacting terms. She has a highly politicized sense of who the people are. Using her relationship with her husband Juan as a sort of basis for her loyalty and character, she calls for similar outpourings of loyalty and feeling from Argentinians, and the world. Women, according to Eva are to be highly sentient, humble, modest, protectors to men, encouragers, companions to men, students to men, and “like a bouquet of flowers in [their] house” (Perón, 1996: 54). She contrasts these women of the people with men and it seems that men are the calculating thinkers, and women are the emotional hearts.
Borges’ Celebration of the Monster was an appealing read, despite being confused as to who The Monster was. Stylistically it might be considered stream of consciousness, which appeals in that it mimics human thought processes. As to what he is trying to construct about the people, a lot of everyday elements are included. Struggles with other people, protesting a dictator, being tired and about making ones own luck. I get the feeling from this piece that the protagonist is a protester, but can still be considered one of the “people,” despite his distaste for The Monster (who I assume to be Juan Perón). Reading Eva’s piece prior to this one in her calls to the people to be fanatical, supportive of her husband, workers, his surrogate family when she is gone, and overall full of heart could be a contrast to the character in Borges’ piece. Not being many of these things the protagonist of Borges’ piece certainly seems to be one of “the people” despite this lack. Perhaps that is why Eva Perón’s piece was upsetting. She does not include any space for “the people” to question their roles, contradict he husbands ideals, communicate with the government (except through herself as a conduit to the government), or protest. Perón writes more idealistically of “the people” while Borges seems to represent “the people” more realistically with his main character.


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