Civics Citizenship

Download Citizenship and Crisis in Contemporary Brazilian Literature by Leila Lehnen (auth.) PDF

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By Leila Lehnen (auth.)

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Sample text

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels profess that the mechanization of labor erases the individualized characters of production. As a result, the worker “becomes an appendage of the machine” (87). Inferno provisório’s characters’ existences are determined by the rhythm of the factories in which they toil. Leisure and pleasure are precariously inserted within the breaks between work schedules. Paradigmatic is Vanim, the protagonist of “A decisão” (The decision, O mundo inimigo). A self-fashioned “musician,” he leads a suffocating life restricted by his work and by his (prospective) family.

Micheletto repeats the exploitative relations of labor that the immigrants experienced on the Brazilian plantations within his own home and transforms his family into working animals, inured to the pater familia. ” Hostility permeates the land itself and seeps into the various characters. Dangerous creatures such as ocelots, scorpions, and snakes roam the story and threaten humans and farm animals. Nonetheless, the most dangerous creatures are the humans. Periodically the undercurrent of violence explodes in acts of brutality such as domestic abuse and murder.

Due to their socioeconomic condition, their lives are circumscribed by the task of making ends meet. Only sporadically do the characters experience small pleasures, such as birthday celebrations or an occasional outing to the town square or the beach. There is no sense of futurity for the majority of the characters. When they attempt to transcend their constrained social and, consequently, existential milieu, or when they dream of overcoming it, they are generally Luiz Ruffato 27 disappointed. As a result, a sense of futility permeates Inferno provisório’s volumes, suggesting the ongoing lack of socioeconomic and civil agency that has affected Brazil’s lower-income bracket.

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