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“The Broken Spears” by Miguel León-Portilla

Miguel León-Portilla is the author of one of the most popular masterpieces of the world’s literature called “The Broken Spears.” The writer was born in Mexico and became famous for his philosophical, anthological, and historical findings. To support financial stability, Dr. Portilla had to study and work simultaneously. The experience from such areas as finances and law helped the writer succeed in life by analyzing the philosophical side of human life. Many of Portilla’s well-known works were translated from Spanish to English to present modern ideas to the whole world. For instance, “Visión de los vencidos” is the original name of “The Broken Spears,” which is commonly used in many schools and colleges in the United States to present students the information about indigenous nations. Many masterpieces of the author were awarded different honors. Dr. Portilla was an active participant in UNESCO, making Mexico one of the most famous countries in the world.

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In “The Broken Spears,” the author tried to show the background information about the Aztec culture by using reliable sources to present positive and negative sides using correct historical facts. The initial purpose of the book the writer could carry is to show the reaction of Aztecs when the Spanish arrived on their territories and what was happening in reality by using approved research. Moreover, the book presents the defeat of Aztecs and all the reasons that caused problems in fighting against the Spanish people. Portilla could try to catch the attention of a diverse audience, beginning with college students and finishing with an old generation. An exceptional ability of the writer to explain complicated facts by using easy words allows attracting the desired audience.

“The Broken Spears” includes many untranslated phrases which require a high level of logical skill or knowledge in the Spanish language. Consequently, the intellectual level of the audience is higher than the average. The historical ideas presented in the book attract those who are interested in real facts of the past that influence modern society. Even though this book is analyzed in several schools and colleges, the young generation might not fully evaluate the writing concept. In this case, I think that the main audience can include people of middle age whose main interests are philosophy and history.

By studying “The Broken Spears” at college, students define the areas of interest and decide whether further readings related to this book should be done. The basis provided by Dr. Portilla allows the young generation to understand the philosophical idea of the book without any deep knowledge of history. Every person has different interests and intellectual levels. The book written by Miguel León-Portilla attracts those keen on understanding the surrounding world by analyzing the experience of the past.

The writer’s approach to the book fascinates many historical experts of the present. The writing accuracy impresses many readers and does not make it complicated for those who are not interested in past actions but still want to increase the intellectual level. The flow of facts does not disturb readers and does not confuse generalized information which everybody can access. Spanish invasion was planned, and it carried a specific purpose. Portilla managed to accurately present the motives of the Spanish people and the Aztecs’ reaction to decrease the chance of conflicts in the modern world.

The book has explained that the Spanish invasion was not spontaneous, and leaders of the colonization process have been preparing their strategy for many years. Aztecs were aware of the possible colonization and inability to fight against a strong nation. The work provided by Miguel León-Portilla explained past actions by using concrete examples that destroy misunderstandings and misleading in global history. “The Broken Spears” does not change the attitude to historical facts but confirms the reality of what was happening.

Lack of education made Aztecs ruthless, and their behavior has always been savage. “The Broken Spears” shows both fighting sides from positive and negative sides. However, after reading the book, I did not change my opinion about the cruelty of Aztecs. Even though Spanish people tried to colonize the territory of another nation, Aztecs did not want to agree to a number of conditions that could also be beneficial to them. Reliable facts provided by Dr. Portilla approved the historical stereotype of this violent nation.

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In conclusion, the deep explanation of the lives of both nations before the Spanish invasion and after has presented the writer both positive and negative aspects that help create a personal vision of the situation. The work does not aim to change any historical facts, but it proves the actions that took place in the past. Even though history might not be the area that attracts many readers, “The Broken Spears” can be available to the audience from any generation as it does not include complicated wording choices. Mexico is one of the most famous countries in the world, and its history is taught in many countries. The book of Dr. Portilla transferred useful information to modern society. It also provided the experience from Aztec and Spanish conflict that can help avoid misunderstandings.

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