Реферат: Life In Mexico Essay Research Paper In

Life In Mexico Essay, Research Paper

In her many letters, and through her journals, Fanny Calderon de la Barca has

left us a very informative eyewitness account of nineteenth century Mexico.

Although these writings can be very useful in studying this period of time, it

is important to note some of the factors that may have affected what she wrote.

Fanny Calderon de la Barca’s own social identity was one of the factors that had

the most profound impact on her writings and observations. It is because of this

social identity that her writings can be used advantageously as a source for

social history?However, it is the same social identity that will help alter

and be disadvantageous to using her work as a source for social history. Through

examples of her writing this paper will argue these merits and show how this

work can and can not be used as a source for social history. It is important to

understand Fanny de la Barca’s social identity, in order to help clarify the

pros and con’s of her work. She was the fifth child of ten born. Her father was

well to do landowner, as well as a legal writer in Scotland. Her mother was

related to the Earl of Buchan, in addition to other noble Scottish families

(pg.5). She was very well educated as a child. She did see and face some

adversity growing up. This adversity and experiences help to shape her social

identity, and her as a person. Her family went bankrupt, they were forced to

move, soon after her father passed away. Her family moved to Boston where the

remaining family members, her included, started a school. The school was

temporarily successful and then closed due to a mishap. The family then moved

yet again to Staten Island. Her childhood was filled with ups and downs.

Throughout it all she maintained a positive attitude and grew as a result. It is

obvious that losing a loved, especially one as close as a parent will have a

profound impact on a person. Seeing her family go bankrupt and having to move

many times has showed Fanny that anything can happen at anytime, even if your

are financially secure. Experiencing these ups and downs in her family life

helped to open her eyes to the trials and tribulations of others. This is

apparent in her writing. She was able to understand better and sympathize with

the people she would come in contact with. The moving around probably made her

later travelling life much easier to become accustomed to. She never really

settled anyplace for an extended period of time. Although Fanny was an outside

observer, she was able to work objectively on the many things she saw and people

she met. However, because of the time period she some times couldn’t write

exactly what she wanted to, especially when it came to certain government

issues. Due to her husband’s respected position in society she was able to meet

many important people, generals and leaders. They were received and treated with

respect just about everywhere. Sometimes even with a twenty-one gun salute, like

the one from the Jason. She was able to make observations of what she saw as

they traveled from place to place. This treatment had its own impact on her

writing. Although she noted some of the negative things that she saw, such as

the smoke blackened buildings on the way to Vera Cruz, etc., she and her husband

almost always stayed in a nice and comfortable place or house. This kept her

from witnessing and experiencing some of the problems firsthand. Also a lot of

the information she gathered was from generals and governors, people such as

Santa Anna. These were not true firsthand accounts from peasants and other lower

class families. For this reason her information may have been biased. She was

really analyzing the opinions of higher ups, and may have received tainted

information, or limited access, in certain situations. An example would have

been Mexico’s breaking from Spain, the revolution and how it happened. Her own

childhood experiences may have helped her in using her own insight on certain

topics. This helped her form opinions where she may have been sheltered from

certain information. This also could have adversely biased her writings. It is

important to consider that these are Fanny’s observations and opinions, and are

affected by her, and the experiences in her life. It is my opinion that although

she had seen and faced some adversity in life, Fanny basically led a sheltered

life. One of the best examples of how this comes out in her writings is in the

beginning portion of this book. We see her and her husband debating over modes

of transportation. The general advises them that only two guards will be able to

accompany them. When debating over the means of travel she illustrates the

different methods, mule driven carriages, they are really just boxes with

wheels, she has a very «snooty » sounding attitude. This was an

obvious result of her pampered lifestyle. She was properly and carefully

educated. After her marriage she continued to lead a good life. She never really

had to deal with any of the problems she observed in life. Her parents may have

dealt with certain hardships, but with the exception of her father dying, she

didn’t experience it that directly. This may have been a different time period,

but parents usually have a way of trying to shelter their children from certain

things when possible. She was able to observe what such adversity can and does

do to families, and could sympathize somewhat with others. I believe Fanny’s

writings can be useful as a source for social history. One reason is because she

was there. She was able, for the most part, to see and observe the trials and

tribulations, good times and bad, almost firsthand. It is important to

understand how her writings have been affected and bias. This is imperative in

determining the merits of her work as a source for social history. Her work will

only be a beneficial source for social history if you consider her biases and

opinions that could affect her writing. If these issues are not considered, this

work could be an informative source, but not one that illustrate the time and

events clearly. I believe that by keeping her own ideas and experiences in mind

when using this source for social history, will make her accounts useful.

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