This paper aims to investigate the position of three different authors on the problem of identity in Latin America. The issue of social and cultural identity is of immense importance for nearly any individual in the majority of countries. It is evident that if people do not find ways to identify themselves directly with a culture or a set of socio-cultural concepts, it is very likely that they would live in significant psychological stress. Thus, it is essential to overview the perspectives of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Martí, and Fernando Ortiz to understand how they define and interpret the problem under discussion.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The first item under discussion is the writing by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who elaborates on the question of Latin America’s history and its correlation with the culture of the continent. This perspective might seem a little too broad; however, the author is able to get a full grasp of the essence of the identity of Latin America. Firstly, the author describes the immense size of the South American continent as one of the most prominent factors influencing the development of the identity of its people.
One of his primary statements concerning identity is the following: the diversity of Latin American nature contributes to the heterogeneity of its people. Sarmiento exemplifies other factors, such as the confrontation between barbarism and civilization, which developed when conquerors came to Latin America. However, it is possible to summarize his overall idea in the following way: the savage nature of Latin America will be prominent for a long time, while the influence of civilization will be insufficient.
Further, it is essential to discuss the perspective of Fernando Ortiz, who focuses primarily on the cultural identity of the Cuban people. He begins his writing with the following statement: Cuba is a melting pot of people. To express this idea more vividly, he then describes the process of cooking the traditional Cuban stew, which is called ajiaco. This dish includes various legumes and meat; however, the most interesting aspect is that this dish is not cooked once, but instead, people cook it in the same pot for several days, adding new ingredients while previously added element becomes the sauce. This metaphor represents the author’s idea incredibly vividly. Ortiz mentions that numerous races and languages were mixed in Cuba, and it is the foundation of the national identity.
Finally, it is of high importance to mention the piece of writing by José Martí. The author provides a significantly interesting perspective on the national identity of people in Latin America. It is possible to contrast his idea with one of the principal premises of Sarmiento’s work, which states that confrontation between barbarism and civilization has a deep influence on the development of Latin American identity. However, Martí argues that the initial conflict lies not in the struggle between civilization and barbarity but rather in the contradiction between false erudition and nature. The author states that the natural man in Latin America is good in his essence, and the dignity of the natural man is what makes him different from other people.