• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Role of Tragic Heroes in Latin American Literature

Extracts from this document...


WORLD LITERATURE ASSIGNMENT 1 ENGLISH A1 HIGHER LEVEL To what extent can Esteban Trueba from House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende and the Vicario Twins from Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, be considered as Tragic Heroes? Name: Christina Sophonpanich Date: 18th October 2007 Word Count: 1496 Candidate number: 000198043 Traditionally, tragic heroes begin as perfectly good characters who suffer a change in fortune from happiness to misery due to a mistaken act, which he performs due to his overwhelming natural flaw. An example of this is excessive pride, which overwhelms the tragic hero's conscience, hence leading him to violate or ignore a moral law. The tragic hero evokes our pity because he is not thoroughly evil and his misfortune is greater than he deserves. This essay aims to compare and contrast the characters of Esteban Trueba from The House of the Spirits, and Pedro and Pablo Vicario, from Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and explore to what extent these characters can be classified as heroes in a tragic drama. From our very first impressions of the young Esteban, we are shown an ambitious and intelligent man, whose harsh childhood and tragedy of his fiancée's death, Rosa the Beautiful, imprints bitterness early on in his life. ...read more.


This ultimately leads to his gradual moral Candidate number: 000198043 deterioration and leaves him utterly alone, and as the story reaches its conclusion, we see that events have turned out justly as Esteban is punished by his own grief and solitude as a direct result of his wrong behavior, and in this he becomes redeemed in our eyes for finally understanding his mistakes. For his redemption lies in his regret and penitence, and in his relinquishment of power and acknowledgement of his failure, "He was not crying because he had lost power. He was crying for his country4," thus confirming his role as a tragic hero. In the Columbian town where the narrative of Chronicle of a Death Foretold unfolds, honor is taken with utmost severity, and all the characters in the novel are seen to be strongly influenced by this ultimate ideal, and it is the preservation of this ideal that becomes directly accountable for the murder of Santiago Nasar. For the revelation of their sister's soiled virginity causes dishonor within the family and in order to clear Angela's name and restore the family honor, Pedro and Pablo Vicario take upon them the duty of killing their friend, Santiago, the alleged perpetrator of Angela's virginity. ...read more.


For the Various twins, albeit playing an essential role in a tragedy, cannot entirely be reconciled at tragic heroes as they lack the overwhelming personal character flaw and single obsessive drive to fulfill their ambitions, as seen in they way they secretly actually wish to be prevented from carrying out the murder. Esteban, on the other hand, shows true traits of the traditional tragic hero as his character undergoes dynamic transformations from a pitiful boy struggling for survival through a harsh childhood, to a steady deterioration in morality as his fatal character flaws become ever more salient, and finally to a state of realization and acknowledgement of his mistakes and bad actions, as he realizes that his obsession for self-aggrandizement, his violent temper and his unyielding pride comes back to haunt and overwhelm him. And it is in his last days as a withered and shriveled old man that he is redeemed in our eyes as he repents for his mistakes, and comes to terms with his losses, as well as his attempts to reconcile with his daughter and past, that ultimately mark him as the tragic hero of Allende's The House of the Spirits. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Literary Criticism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Literary Criticism essays

  1. Sex, Shame and Guilt: Reflections on Bernhard Schlink's der Vorleser (the Reader) and J

    79). The issue of seeing and being seen is paramount here--and it is a central constituent of the notion of shame. They see one another again at the trial. For days on end there is no exchange of glances between them.

  2. How clear is the distinction between love and lust in Renaissance literature?

    The nature of the description seems paradoxical, characterising her in terms of these two qualities - Beauty's red and Virtue's white. In the context of this poem it would seem that the two concepts are necessarily opposed. She is beautiful and so provokes desire on the one hand, however she

  1. The Role of Fear and Obsession on Gothic Literature. It seems within these ...

    the mystery and silence which only fuels the influence of fear upon him: 'Mr Jerome stopped dead. He was staring at me...Mr. Jerome looked frozen, pale, his throat moving as if he were unable to utter'. Mr Jerome's reaction as well as the hotel landlord's '...the name had stirred some

  2. Childrens literature - it is clear that some material from nonsense books such as ...

    Old man of Calcutta who gorged on bread and butter until 'a great bit of muffin, on which he was stuffing, Choked that horrid old man of Calcutta' (37). This man's greed has led to his ultimate downfall in society, both on his destruction by choking and his label of 'horrid' by the other members of society.

  1. To what extent is the word postmodern an effective critical term for describing late ...

    culture, first we need to look at its meaning and compare postmodernism to modernism. Whether it is considered a reaction to Modernism, or a part of it, the Postmodern trend possesses specific qualities which can be followed not only in the worldwide culture, but also in several aspects of life.

  2. What and when was the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was more than ...

    New York: Free Press, 1996. Hatch, James V., ed. and intro., and Leo Hamalian, ed. Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance: 1920-1940. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1996. Hatcher, Harlan. Creating the Modern American Novel. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1935.

  1. American Literature: Mark Twain and Realism

    Going back to all Realist writers, in general, they âwanted to use all levels of society in their novels by addressing socioeconomic class conflictâ (Galens 251). The idea of incorporating both the rich and the poor in books became a good idea in the minds of Realist novelists.

  2. The Great Gatsby and The American Dream

    His actions prove him to a man who inflicts fear into people to maintain control. The confrontation in the city is a prime example of this. ââDaisy! Daisy! Daisy!â shouted Mrs. Wilson. âIâll say it whenever I want to! Daisy!

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work