*Sequeiro Grande (see-KAY-roh GRAHN-day). Forest region of prime cacao-growing land in northeastern Brazil. In his foreword to the English translation of the novel, Jorge Amado describes his own boyhood in the area and states that his portrait of the land and its inhabitants is a true one. He also states that the story contains the very “roots” of his being and means more to him than any of his other books. In his novel, the Sequeiro Grande is sought by both the Horacio and Badaró families, whose plantations are located on opposite sides of the region’s still-unclaimed interior. The forest is likened to a lovely young virgin whose appeal far transcends that of mere money, which makes the narrative both a story about a love triangle and a chronicle of economic conflict. The novel’s conception of male sexual drive as the engine of economic expansion is mirrored in its treatments of love relationships, which are similarly envisaged as dramas of a man’s need to possess, control, and exploit the woman he desires.
Horacio plantation (oh-RAH-see-oh). Home of Colonel Horacio da Silveira and his wife, Ester. Important units of social organization on the Brazilian frontier, plantations are depicted in the novel as both outposts of civilization and feudal kingdoms reflecting their owners’ personalities. Although Colonel Horacio’s fields are worked by poorly paid laborers under the supervision of armed foremen, he is sufficiently responsive to the...
(The entire section is 627 words.)