Old Gringo Reflective Statement

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STUDENT NAME: Piyush Verma QUEENSLAND ACADEMY FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ENGLISH A LITERATURE – HL WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT TEXT: The Old Gringo AUTHOR: Carlos Fuentes TRANSLATOR: Margaret Sayers Peden TOPIC: To what extent does death and manhood represent key cultural distinctions in the novel? WORD COUNT: 1055 ☐ REFLECTIVE STATEMENT ATTACHED “The Old Gringo” is a novel written by Carlos Fuentes. With war, adventure, love and more, the novel wonders the era of the Mexican Revolution in 1912. In this novel, there are many themes: the relationship between Mexico and the United States, the drive to find one’s true self and the different ways two men need a woman are all significant themes that Fuentes revisits throughout the novel. Death and manhood are two major key themes in the novel and thus Fuentes develops the ideas of death and bravery to highlight key cultural distinctions in the novel. Death is clearly significant at the conclusion of the novel when The Old Gringo and Arroyo die. This obviously highlights the importance of manhood as it is linked to bravery, most specifically to Old Gringo’s bravery and Arroyo’s evident ‘machismo’ in their approach to life and conflict. Death in this novel starts when an American schoolteacher, Harriet Winslow, makes the decision to go to Mexico in 1912 to teach English to children from wealthy families. On Harriet’s travels she finds an American journalist and a general in the Pancho Villa’s revolutionary army, both of these people on a mission for adventure and death. The climatic point in the novel is when the death of the old gringo and the Mexican general happens. Spanish/Mexican people react in varying ways when people die. An example of this in the novel is when the old gringo pressures Arroyo into taking initiative by burning Spanish documents that are told to be considered as Arroyo’s
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