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About Jorge Luis Borges. In , his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school and traveled to Spain. Write a product review.
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View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us. The peasants gather at taverns, where they spend their time drinking and gambling. They display their eagerness to prove their physical strength with horsemanship and knife fights.
According to Sarmiento, these elements are crucial to an understanding of the Argentine Revolution, in which Argentina gained independence from Spain. Rural people participated in the war to demonstrate their physical strengths rather than because they wanted to civilize the country. In the end, the revolution was a failure because the barbaric instincts of the rural population led to the loss and dishonor of the civilized city—Buenos Aires.
Life of Juan Facundo Quiroga. Despite being born into a wealthy family, Facundo received only a basic education in reading and writing. As a youth Facundo was antisocial and rebellious, refusing to mix with other children, and these traits became more pronounced as he matured.
Sarmiento gives a physical description of the man he considers to personify the caudillo: His killing of two Spaniards after a jailbreak saw him acclaimed as a hero among the gauchos, and on relocating to La Rioja, Facundo was appointed to a leadership position in the Llanos Militia. In , when Unitarist Bernardino Rivadavia became the governor of the Buenos Aires province, he held a meeting with representatives from all provinces in Argentina.
Facundo was present as the governor of La Rioja. Rivadavia was soon overthrown, and Manuel Dorrego became the new governor.
Sarmiento contends that Dorrego, a Federalist, was interested neither in social progress nor in ending barbaric behaviour in Argentina by improving the level of civilization and education of its rural inhabitants. During the ensuing civil war between the two ideologies, Facundo conquered the provinces of San Luis, Cordoba and Mendoza. He went to Buenos Aires to confront Rosas, who sent him on another political mission.
According to Sarmiento, the murder was plotted by Rosas: By setting France against Argentina—representing civilization and barbarism respectively—Sarmiento contrasts culture and savagery:. The social results of the French blockade, however, had been fruitful for the Argentine Republic, and served to demonstrate in all their nakedness the current state of mind and the new elements of struggle, which were to ignite a fierce war that can end only with the fall of that monstrous government. However, Facundo cannot be classified as a novel or a specific genre of literature.
The book is partly fictional, as well: Sarmiento draws on his imagination in addition to historical fact in describing Rosas.
To make his case, Sarmiento often has recourse to strategies drawn from literature. Literary critic Sorensen Goodrich argues that although Sarmiento was not the first to articulate this dichotomy, he forged it into a powerful and prominent theme that would impact Latin American literature.
He explores the issue of civilization versus the cruder aspects of a caudillo culture of brutality and absolute power.
Facundo set forth an oppositional message that promoted a more beneficial alternative for society at large. Although Sarmiento advocated various changes, such as honest officials who understood enlightenment ideas of European and Classical origin, for him education was the key. Caudillos like Facundo Quiroga are seen, at the beginning of the book, as the antithesis of education, high culture, and civil stability; barbarism was like a never ending litany of social ills.
They are the agents of instability and chaos, destroying societies through their blatant disregard for humanity and social progress.