This week’s topic, Independence, is a huge topic to tackle. Especially when we are covering the independence of such a huge geographical area that is Latin America. I found the narrative of José Martí incredibly beautiful and poetic; the way in which he describes the struggle of the people of the New World against the Spanish colonizers is absolutely stunning and it left an impact on me. His use of metaphors and descriptive language creates a very vivid image, and makes me think that he was quite an effective and influential figure in the struggle for independence. However, some of his ideas were a little bit hard to follow due to the way he chose to write his piece, with some of the metaphors creating a bit of an issue in my understanding of what he was trying to say.
Bolivar’s narrative however, is descriptive in a less poetic way but yet still highly effective and seemingly influential. He highlights the facts of the rebellions happening throughout Latin America and explains what is happening with these uprisings and why. I found Bolivar’s writing a lot easier to follow than Martí’s, just because it was written in a more straightforward and “straight to the facts” kind of way. A particularly powerful line from this piece of writing for me was, “we are threatened with the fear of death, dishonor, and every harm; there is nothing we have not suffered at the hands of that unnatural stepmother-Spain”. The idea of the stepmother in this sense is excellent; someone that comes into a family from a completely different place. Someone that does things differently to what you are used to, and this can go very well, or it can go extremely wrong. In the case of Latin America, the relationship that it had with Spain was obviously a bad one.
The question I have after this week’s plethora of information about independence is this: When do people decided that enough is enough and start the spark of revolution? How long can people put up with being ruled by a crown that does not have the best interests of you in mind? And who says when its time to start fighting back?
The bravery of these people that we’ve learned about this week, and of course many other people who we have not heard about, is absolutely astounding and sparks a common theme: what will you do when you’ve decided that enough is enough?