The Nine Guardians?Nine Guardians? takes places in the State of Chiapas, in Mexico, where from theremains of the Mexican revolution came the presidency of Lazaro Cardenas. His presidencytakes places between 1934 and 1940, during the time this novel takes place. Cardenasexpropriated foreign-held properties, distributed land to peasants, and instituted reforms tobenefit indigenous people and Mexican workers.
Cardenas found it unfair for the Indians to notbe treated as equals, so he demanded rights for Indians. Land holdings were controlled by aruling elite. The Indians were encouraged to rise against the landowners and demand their rights. They have the law on their side and they start to realize they don’t deserve to be treated as slaves. With the help of others, Cardenas breaks up large estates and forces families off of the lands.Order now
The novel is written from the point of view of the author, Rosario Castellanos. However, a sevenyear old girl is the narrator through most of ?The Nine Guardians?. She takes us through thebook by introducing the people surrounding her life and her family’s life. The seven year old girl is the daughter of a wealthy landowner, Cesar Arguello.
Since theArguellos are wealthy, the girl is not raised by her parents, but mostly by an Indian servant, shecalls Nana. Nana has nurtured and cared for the girl and her little brother, Mario, since birth. Nana is an Indian that lives with this elite, controlling, possessive, landowning family. Despitethe fact that she is treated as a slave, Nana loves the Arguellos.
Nana becomes a big influence onthe little girl, along with her parents, and the retaliation of the landowners and the Indians againstone another. The girl and her brother will become innocent victims mostly because of her father,who will try desperately to hold on to their land for Mario’s future. Some of the damage donecannot be fixed and will remain permanent. It is a tragedy of money, power, and malesupremacy. The situations that occur will leave a strong impact on how she thinks and feels. From beginning to end, the seven year old girl’s perspective of the Indians will changedramatically.
In the beginning, the girl is ignorant to the thought of being an Indian. She doesn’t wantto know their history and how they stand in their society. She speaks of how young she is andwants no part of what is going on. She loves her Nana but doesn’t think she knows what she istalking about. The thought that she could have been an Indian threatens her. She wants to beidle, absent-minded, and not aware of her surroundings.
Perhaps, she wishes this for Nana also. The Indians frighten her and she is ignorant of their part in society. In this novel, when badthings happen, some of the characters are superstitious and believe they pay for their mistakesthrough curses given by the sorcerers, especially the Indians. She starts to understand her Nanawhen she sees her wounded knees done by a curse that has followed her from her home,Chactajal. ?It’s withches’ doings that’s afoot, child.
They gobble everything up-the crops, peacein the family, people’s health. ? Since Nana grew up in the Arguellos house and loved the familyshe lived with, she was being punished. The Indians could not understand how she could lovethose that give orders and have possessions, it was against their beliefs. The girl is angry at firstat the Indians and begins to understand the sacrifices and hardships her Nana must have and isgoing through to be apart of the Arguellos family. From this experience, she starts to see whoher father is and becomes disgusted with him because he is one that gives orders and own things. She starts to put a lot of faith in her Nana and believes the things she tells her.
Shebecomes more aware that this time in her life is not going to be a time for fun. She also begins tolearn to look with lowered eyes when humility looks at bigness, like the Indians do out of respectfor the Nine Guardians. From what I understand, the Indians believe that there are nineprotectors of the earth that watch over all and control everything. The girl learns things from herNana and learns to think differently about her parents.
She witnesses an Indian killed becauseher father trusted him. It makes her sad and fearful of the power that her father possesses. She isseeing her parents differently. As a child, your parents are the world and they can do no harm. As a child, you think your parents are all-knowing.
There comes a point where a child starts togrow up and sometimes perhaps their parents are not who the child thought they were. The girlbegins to grow up a little and realizes she is now seeing her parents otherwise, almost with a newset of eyes. Her father is completely self-absorbed, except for the fact that he wants to save his landfor his son’s inheritance. He thinks of himself as all mighty. He doesn’t think the Indians areworth schooling when the law demands it be done.
Her father thinks the Indians could neverlearn Spanish and are not worth the pay of a master to educate them. Cesar has a sense ofself-importance and cares only that his ?commands have power and his scolding inspire fear. ? He despises the government and believes Cardenas is inciting Indians against their masters andhanding them over the rights that they can’t use and don’t deserve. ?He (Cardenas) doesn’t knowthem; he’s never been near them and found out how they stink of filth and drink.
He’s neverdone them a favour and been rewarded with their laziness. And they’re so hypocritical, sounderhand, so deceitful!? He sees the Indians as little children. ?Cesar was incapable ofspeaking to people he didn’t consider his equals. ? The story moves from Comitran to Chactajal where her father’s ranch is located. Herfather needs to supervise the grinding and branding of his crops done by the Indians. At theArguello ranch, there are many families of Indians taking care of his land, the Indians that hepays little money too, along with no respect.
The family goes to Chactajal without Nana becauseshe is afraid of the witches’ curses. On their way, the girl starts to learn about death, how easy itis to die when her cousin shots a deer to kill it. Her and her brother Mario are surprised at howeasy life can be taken away. The feud that explodes against the Arguellos leaves everlasting effects on the children. The girl has seen her Nana’s status in society, she has seen the effect of Nana’s love towards herfamily, she can no longer go to school because it was ordered to be shut down.
she has seen aman killed from trusting her father, Their land is set to fire and the threat that they will die in thefire, her illegitimate cousin is killed in rebellion towards her father, she sees her aunt go crazy,and she believes in the power of sorcery. She misses her Nana and her wisdom on life. She isultimately going to learn the about male supremacy and the effects it has on society. Her brother,Mario, is the pride of the Arguellos family.
The Indians curse the boy to death because of theendless fight her father has for power and wealth. The two things that matter to Cesar the most. ?For the Indian is helpless to do better if the white man’s will is not behind him. The Indians arestarting to realize they are equal to white men. They lose all respect for the landowners and fightback just as bad as the Arguellos fought to keep them as slaves.
They are aware now that theyown the ranch and are not obliged to work for anyone because now Cardenas has more powerthan all the landowners. Perhaps, it would have all been better if Cesar Arguellos realized thatmale supremacy should not control all of society. Cesar Arguello humiliated his wife, did nottreat her as an equal, although she put up with him. He also put his children in jeopardy forhaving them around in the time of trouble.
He didn’t realize what he thought and did was not theway the world was supposed to work. He was one man who believed he had a want to controland posses all the power and the wealth he could manage to get a hold of. His arrogant pride ledhis family to separation. Her mother, Zoraida, was responsible for her life and her childrens’ lives, although sheallowed herself to do as Cesar demanded. Her mother demands that Nana leaves because Nanainformed Zoraida about the curse put onto Mario’s life.
The only reason the Arguello familymanaged to stay together was because of their beloved Mario. If Mario was to die, not only doesshe lose her son, but possibly her husband that she cannot communicate with. She fires Nana andleaves her daughter scared and enlightened even more about the people she loves and respects. The girl has lost her Nana, her brother dies because of the curse put on his life, she haslost all respect for her mother and father. She only wants to be with Nana since she is the onlyone that loves and cares about her. Her brother is dead and she feels guilty because she thinksshe could have stopped it from happening.
Perhaps, she punished her mother for not caringabout her. Her mother only cared and loved Mario. Without Mario, her mother felt she was nolonger worthwhile. The girl finally realizes who her parents are and realizes that her Nana, despite being anIndian, is the one who cares about her. She looks for forgiveness from her dead brother becauseshe realizes that it was not his fault she was a female without love and respect from her parents.
She realized that if her father just accepted that the time for male supremacy was to end, then theevents that took place may never have had happened. English Essays