Week Eight: Signs of Crisis in a Gilded Age

During last week’s discussion, we learned about the beginning concept of modernity in Mexico, and briefly touched on the event of the Mexican Revolution. This week’s discussion, being a continuation of last week’s topic of modernity, introduced many more narratives of the Mexican Revolution besides Creelman’s. This week, we were able to explore the ideas of different social classes and different perspectives.

I appreciated that in this week’s lecture video, the Mexican Revolution is broken down into three key components — The Old Guard, Villa and the serrano revolutionaries, and Zapata and the agrarian revolutionaries. Starting with the Old Guard, who is a component to any revolution narrative, is the person who “benefits” politically and economically before a revolution, and who would like to maintain their privilege. Villa, who represents the face of  the “Cowboy Revolution”. The serrano revolutionaries that followed Villa were the most affected or transformed by modernity. The third key component of the Mexican Revolution is Zapata. Zapata represents the “peasant narrative” of the revolution. The agrarian revolutionaries were the ones that supported Zapata. A grand majority of these revolutionaries were either indigenous or mestizo that lived in the central parts of Mexico. The agrarian revolutionaries experienced many occurrences of their land being stolen. It took many attempts to restitution their land and have the right of local governance.

Next, I would like to analyze Ruben Dario’s “To Roosevelt”. Dario uses metaphors and descriptive language to address Roosevelt. Many of his lines have religious undertones, for instance, “You are an Alexander-Nebuchadnezzar, / breaking horses and murdering tigers”. Dario also uses satire to almost poke fun at Roosevelt and America’s naivety, “you are one part George Washington and one part Nimrod”. I found “To Roosevelt” quite similar to Martí’s “Our America”, as Dario even mentions Martí’s piece in his own work. Moreover, they are both expressing their pride for what Dario calls, “Spanish America”. Ruben Dario writes of the impact America has on Latin America, how strong of an influence the country can be over an entire continent. I especially like the lines: The United States is grand and powerful. / Whenever it trembles, a profound shudder / runs down the enormous backbone of the Andes”.

1 thought on “Week Eight: Signs of Crisis in a Gilded Age

  1. Olga Kochkareva

    Hi Laura,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog! Your analysis of ‘To Roosevelt’ was one which I felt truly understood the thinly veiled, embedded meanings that Dario was trying to convey. I also appreciated the connection between Martí’s work, which was one that I had not entirely noticed before!

    thank you for your thoughts


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