Week Five: Caudillos Versus the Nation State

I would like to focus this week’s blog post on the Slaughter-house reading because the passage itself was so compelling. To start off, I wanted to mention a detail that stuck out for me. It was the 50 bullocks who were meant to be killed were actually for the the upperclass instead of the the starving locals. This can relate to how caudillos can be perceived as dictators in a way especially with the church ruling alongside. They used force of arms or violence, seemed to have strict rules like displaying allegiance to Rosas in public and prevalent class division and inequality. Whoever choose to speak against those in power like the man were given inhumane consequences and their deaths were shrugged away as if it were nothing.

Esteban Echeverria was able to write this story in the uttermost elaborate and intricate way showing so much detail. I was able to picture each moment so vividly and understand all that was happening. Relating this to the questions (#5 and #6), I believe the author was trying to direct our sympathies towards an everyday man who was tired of the “government”. In my opinion, this would be your average Joe. It was depicted that even death didn’t scare someone compared to what was going on. He was courageous to openly ¬†protest regardless of the awaiting outcome. This specific tale may have been chosen to show the gory truth of Argentina under Rosas because of how triggering it is.¬†A literary tale can teach history due to the fact that it can be an interpretation of a specific event. Rather than being straightforward and listing detail, it goes further in depth. You are more interested in the concept since it is portrayed in this light with elements like imagery or metaphors or even symbolism.

Moving on, I wanted to touch upon the portrayal of black or mixed women in the Slaughterhouse reading. They were described in degrading ways referenced to their looks, their actions or ways of communication. It was kind of alarming but not shocking. There was so much anti-blackness in colonial times so of course it would carry on. Yet, the story mentioned it on multiple occasions not just one line here or there. I like to relate things in the past to our present to see if there is any correlation . I find this example relates to what a black women has to endure in daily life with harmful stereotypes, colourist remarks, racism as well as sexism.

Discussion Question:

How did Echeverria’s reading change any pre-existing notions you had or teach you something new?

Would you prefer literary tales a way to teach history rather than textbooks or what we typically use? Why or why not?

How prevalent is anti-blackness in Latin America today?