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Download Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony in Brazil, by S. Roncador PDF

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By S. Roncador

Drawing from a number of old assets, concept, and fictional and non-fictional creation, this e-book addresses the cultural imaginary of family servants in glossy Brazil and demonstrates maids' symbolic centrality to moving notions of servitude, subordination, femininity, and domesticity.

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Extra info for Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony in Brazil, 1889–1999

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By the same token, it also provided a by-proxy scientific authority in the nineteenth-century feminist print culture (especially feminist newspapers, novels, and advice literature) that claimed for higher standards of women’s intellectual education as a path toward a responsible motherhood. Thus, as Almeida argues, a white mother’s “disability” has less to do with the hypothesis of eugenic handicap and more with women’s “faulty education”; namely, the imposed regimen of “spending all day inside, without exercise or company, without games, without worries or preconceived notions, without any ordered studies, no travel, no variety, and no joy.

Almeida’s first novel, Memórias de Marta, is a good example of the impact of these views. Narrated in first person by the protagonist/narrator, Marta, the novel portrays her childhood and youth, from the death of her father (a victim of yellow fever) to her subsequent move with her mother to a slum. The novel takes place in Rio de Janeiro devastated by the epidemics and unhealthy conditions 40 Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony responsible for the spread of diseases, emphasizing the drama of a mother and daughter who suddenly find themselves obligated to live in an infected environment—the slum: “There are so many flies!

Ach! ” (208). Published for the first time in 1895, A viúva Simões describes the injurious way the crisis of authority occurred in the homes of the upper and middle classes during the early years of the republic. Simplícia completely inhabits the stereotype of the servant as an invader of bourgeois privacy and intimacy and as being envious of her mistress’s position. Emphasis is given to her mulatta sexuality and could even put her in the position of competing for the place of wife/ lover if it were not for the fact that Ernestina was a widow.

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