LEH 352- Latin American Literature of Violence and Power

Read it carefully. It centers on a quote, taken from The Hydra Head by Carlos Fuentes. Although we have not read his works directly, many concepts, thoughts and ideas within this quote are applicable to our course this semester. Here is the quote: “We sought a place where we might be masters, not slaves. But one is master of himself only when he has no slaves. We did not know how to be masters, without new slaves, so we ended up by being executioners, in order not to be victims. We found victims to escape being victims. Each of us looks at the other and sees only his own suffering in the eyes of the enemy. To reject the others’ suffering, inevitably a mirror image of our own, [leads to] our only recourse, violence… power knows itself to be temporary,[so] it is always cruel.” Although this quote was taken from a book we did not read this semester, it presents many ideas about the books we did read over the short winter semester. In a three page well thought out essay, explain how this dynamic of domination/oppression (master/slave) is present in Bel Canto and News of a Kidnapping. In your essay, you must use both texts. Here are some more details. To complete this assignment, explain how this dynamic of domination/oppression (master/slave) is present in each of the texts you have selected. Since this quote seems to foreground violence and victimization as an integral part of the domination and oppression relationship, you might want to mention its presence. Violence and victimization many times accompany suffering and predation. These elements often surface when there is an absence of mediating structures, such as government, police, military, church, families, education, etc. So reflect upon the situations you have encountered during this short session embodying this master/slave dynamic. How you decide to organize all these thoughts in this essay is up to you and your unique writing style, but just be sure it is written in MLA format with an Introduction, Body and Conclusion. There should also be in text citations and a Works Cited page. Please remember what is considered a well written essay. Here is a brief breakdown of the essay’s parts. The introduction is first and is filled with general statements and information about violence, power, victimization or other related ideas of your choosing. At the end of this first section, you become very specific about what you are actually going to write about. This is the very important thesis statement. Make sure yours is related to the quote in some way, and then use the books as support for your essay’s main idea(s). In the body section, each book should appear. Since you have a strong thesis in the introduction, use this section for examples and support with a demonstrated knowledge of each book chosen. Employ multiple in text citations as a concrete writing technique highlighting your essay’s argumentative strength. Review all critical readings for quotes to deepen your personal thoughts and comments. The Conclusion is just that. It’s the end of your essay. It is a brief restatement in different words of the thesis statement and main ideas of the body section. Since it should summarize your submission’s main points and leave the reader with a sense of now knowing what your thesis statement was all about, it should be clear, precise and creative. Good luck! Make sure you consult MLA for the correct format.

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