Comparison and Contrast of Argentine Narratives
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Comparison and Contrast of Argentine Narratives
Several topics created havoc in Argentina by the end of the nineteenth century. These topics were based on discussions about immigration, the popular classes, and the indigenous peoples. Immigration was widespread at the time because people were in search of work and settlement. The poor initial residents were mainly affected because they felt that the growing numbers of indigenous people stole their lands, cultures, and identities. The indigenous people had to hide their identities to avoid facing racial discrimination. This paper compares and contrasts the opinions of Argentine elites such as Alberdi, Sarmiento, and Lugones to those of the experiences of Sola and Namuncura.
Alberdi, Sarmiento, and Lugones were among the founders of modern Argentina. According to the adage “to govern is to populate,” Alberdi advocated for a vigorous immigration program that, over time, will fundamentally and irrevocably change the ethnocultural makeup of the Argentine people. Immigrants are crucial in transforming Argentine society into a desirable utopian future (Alberdi, 2002). They would instill in village males a feeling of duty and discipline through their teachings and modeling, qualities that are crucial for advancing society. They would create a more robust national race by marrying Creole ladies. Oreste Sola stated in his letter that he immigrated to Argentina to explore new opportunities. His encounter in Argentina symbolizes some steadiness in his living and chances for the future because he interacted with many people who shared his background (Sola, 2002). Since Sola had to adjust to a new environment and travel extensively to find work and form friendships, his adventures in Argentina symbolize a certain amount of shift in his life and his future goals.
Another common topic was the popular classes. Sarmiento argued that Americanism was barbaric because it was cruel, primitive, unjust, and a retrograde force. He said that these habits were to be replaced by a civilization that would go hand in hand with urbanization (Sarmiento, 2003). However, later on, Sarmiento had a change of opinion and ended up admiring barbarism. Namuncura, on the other hand, as an Amerindian chief, was aware of the disadvantages of signing an agreement with the government. They would lose rights over their lands, and there will be raids and attacks. He, therefore, felt the need to protect the people from pending disaster. He wrote a letter to the president asking for the agreed compensations during the agreement and the opportunity to be represented in the federal political government (Namuncura, 2002).
Lugones elevated the vanishing gaucho and Hernández’s gauchesque poem, Martin Fierro, to the status of national emblems for Argentina. It is necessary to interpret the resurgence of a heritage that the academic leaders of the country have consistently repudiated as a relatively transparent political ploy to combat ethnic plurality (Lugones, 2002). Lugones used scientific justification to demonstrate that the race vitality of the working class constituted the core of the Argentine population, expressing the concerns and fears sparked by the risk of diversity that the immigrants signified. The idea of universal poetry, which linked the Homeric bard and the gaucho versifier or Parador, was an aspect of the same tactical maneuver.
The availability of indigenous people towards the end of the nineteenth century brought about different opinions from the residents, the governments, and the immigrants. Alberdi and Sarmiento saw immigration as a way to change and adapt new methods to give them a better future. Later on, Sarmiento learned that it was by accepting the past that the future would be created and ended up appreciating barbarism which he had previously critiqued. Chief Namuncura feared that they would lose their identity with immigration and signing new treaties with the government. He, therefore, demanded that the people be represented in government decisions. Sola, an immigrant, had gone to Argentina for greener pastures. All these people had different opinions on immigration, poverty, and the growing numbers of indigenous people in Argentina.
Alberdi, J. B. (2002). Immigration as a Means of Progress. In The Argentina Reader (pp. 95-102). Duke University Press.
Lugones, L. (2002). National Identity in a Cosmopolitan Society. In The Argentina Reader (pp. 209-214). Duke University Press.
Namuncura, M. (2002). Letter to the President. https://read.dukeupress.edu/books/book/769/chapter-abstract/135997/Letter-to-the-President?redirectedFrom=PDFSarmiento, D. F. (2003). Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism (Vol. 12). Univ of California Press.
Sola, O. (2002). Making it in America. In The Argentina Reader (pp. 188-192). Duke University Press.