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THE POLITICAL EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THAT INFLUENCED GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ IN THE LEAF STORM - Essay Example

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The book, Leaf Storm therefore shows the various division of power in Colombia in the early 1900s. It shows through the funeral of a single doctor, the kind of struggle that existed in villages in the country. It shows how the division between the upper class and working class…
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THE POLITICAL EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THAT INFLUENCED GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ IN THE LEAF STORM
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Download file to see previous pages Colombia is a South American country that is influenced strongly by Spanish rule and is the site of several international trade for countries like USA, France and Britain for over four centuries now(Henderson 2). Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Colombian writer who has written books that reflect the economic and social realities of his coutry. This paper examines the book, Leaf Storm which presents the vivid facts about an imaginary town, Macondo located in Colombia. It looks at the political events and factors that acted as foundation for Marquez to write the book and its implications in relations to that era of Colombian history.
Leaf Storm is a narrative about the thoughts and views of three generations of a family; a grandfather (Colonel), a daughter and a grandson. Each of them give their views and opinions about a conflict involving the Colonel’s family and the people of Macondo who have an extreme hatred for a dead man who was the guest of the house for many years. The deceased, who happened o be a doctor, was seen by the townsfolk as cruel because he refused to treat members of the town who were wounded in the country’s civil war though he was qualified to. The people of Macondo therefore thought that the deceased did not deserve a normal Christian burial. On the other hand, the Colonel had made a vow to the deceased to perform his burial, since he had no known family members. In honor of his promise, the colonel sought to get the dead doctor a normal burial and as members of his family, his daughter and grandson had to support him in their conflict against the people of Macondo. The book therefore gives accounts of the events from three perspectives; an older man, a young lady and an innocent child. All these descriptions show strong links to Colombia’s political and social history. The narration appears to be set in 1909 (Marquez 2), a period linked with the numerous transformations that occurred in Colombia’s history including the Thousand Day War (1899 – 1902) and the establishment of numerous banana plantations including the United Fruit Company, which became a common entity in most of Latin America in that point in history. These two events came with so many complications and strive that determined the politics of the era. Pelayo(28) identifies three major events in the history of Colombia that are defined subtly through the writings of Leaf Storm. They include: 1. The arrival of the Banana Company 2. The people that the Banana Company attracted (the leaf storm) 3. The end of the Colombian Civil War The Thousand Day War Prior to 1909, the year the narration was set, there was a war in Colombia between 1899 and 1902 known as the Thousand Day War. It involved the members of the two major political traditions of the country: the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. The liberals accused the conservatives of retaining power through election fraud and this led to the commencement of a war that saw massive destruction of properties and human lives across the country (Henderson 54). This war was also fueled by economic crises caused by the falling coffee prices on the international market. This trend showed the need for the diversification of the country’s economy by planting other crops like bananas to support Colombia and prevent overdependence on coffee exports. Although Marquez does not refer to the Thousand Day War directly in the book, it can be inferred logically that the 10 or so men who were wounded and demanded treatment from the deceased doctor were involved in that war. Also, they appear to be fighting on the side of the rebels and the dead doctor seemed to be preserving his integrity by abstaining from the treatment of rebels. This clearly shows the extent people went to take and protect their positions in the Thousand Day War. This shows that there were some elites and conservatives who stuck to the ruling government when the war prevailed. This also shows the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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