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Child of the Dark

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Analytical Paper

Have you ever felt the urge to help someone who’s homeless, but felt very scared about coming in contact with them? Child of the Dark tells a story about Carolina Maria de Jesus. A single mother of three children who lived a life of humiliation, poverty and hunger day to day; searching for a decent meal to eat and give her children. Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village is a memoir written by Victor Montejo who tells a disgraceful adventure to his way of freedom from the soldiers who have taken over is village. These two narrators talk about their life experiences but were family oriented. Both of these books send out strong messages about the conditions lived under certain circumstances. In this analytical paper I will be talking about the life of these two protagonist, the hardships that they both have to face, and the political and economic conditions that made them into the people that they are.

The book Child of the Dark is the diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus which she talks about her life living in a favela, a shanty town, in Brazil with her three children. She lives a very poor, humiliating life style. Her living in poverty resulted in her looking for scraps to trade for food to feed her children. "July 5, 1955 The birthday of my daughter, Vera Eunice. I wanted to buy a pair of shoes for her, but the price of feed keeps us from realizing our desires. Actually we are slaves to the cost of living. I found a pair of shoes in the garbage, washed them, and patched them for her to wear." Living in a favela her and her family are exposed to hunger, diseases, violence, and alcoholism. To help get her mind of these things, Carolina is writing and once in a while receiving things from strangers and friends. One day a man stopped near the favela and gave Vera one hundred cruzieros which is what Carolina would make on a good day.

When it came to participating in the government acts, Carolina doesn’t give up the chance to be involved in Brazil’s political system. After seeing how congress really is she is disgusted by how everything goes. To let it be known about the ignorance of the power, she gets critiques to go against the political system that she thinks contributes to poverty and hunger in the favelas. She feels as if the government is going against the poor. The basic necessities that people need such as rice and flour are priced really high.

On the other hand, Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village is about a school teacher who lives in a village that is in the middle of a genocide war. He is a well respected man in the society since he is the schoolmaster

This book starts off with the schoolmaster being in class with the student like any other day. And out of nowhere the guerrillas approach the village and start shooting. He schoolmaster is trying to keep the children down on the floor and distract them from what is going outside. The reason that the army was shooting and had captives was because the civil patrol had mistaken the army for guerrillas.

After the schoolmaster had let the students go home he had gone to talk to the sergeant to see what was going on and why here were captives. After he does this he goes down to where the captives are and talks to the man in charge of the captives. He goes and talks to the man in charge and tries to explain that the captives had made a mistake in thinking that they were guerrillas and tries to get them taken out of captivity but that doesn’t work. One day one of the villagers is held in captivity and he ends up telling the soldiers that the schoolmaster is the head of the guerillas; this is all a lie. The kind of government that the school master has is not a democracy they have a very, uncivilized way of dealing with things; they will kill innocent people without any type of proof that, that person actually committed any thing that they are being accused of.

In many ways these two books are in many ways quite similar. One of the ways that they are similar is that these two books are real life experiences. Carolina is telling the reader about her life living in the favela and what she has to go through in order to support her family and herself. She uses diction in order to express to the reader what she is going through and what kind of living conditions she is going through. The schoolmaster is vividly showing the reader what kind of torture he is enduring while being captive. The way he describes when he is getting beaten with ropes is quite vivid. The reader can actually feel what he is feeling just by the way that Victor Montejo uses diction.

Another way that these two books are similar is because both Carolina and the schoolmaster are family oriented. Carolina goes through so much just to make sure that her family has at least food to eat. She will going out all day looking for scraps in order for her family and herself to eat. The way that she describes what a favela is like and from me doing research on favelas, it is not easy at all living in a favela. The way that we know that the schoolmaster is family oriented is because when he got put into captivity all that he could think about his family and if they were going to



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