Explain how the protagonist's gradual awareness of his own condition is presented in "The Dead Man." What is the style of this short story, according to the readings in the book Intro to Latin American Humanities?  

The protagonist in "The Dead Man" understands his deadly accident through reflection on his plantation and his lifelong labor to establish it. In this sense, it is a story about the risks involved in settling a new country.

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"The Dead Man" is the story of an accident. Working on his banana plantation one morning, the protagonist slips while trying to step over a barbed-wire fence and falls on his machete.

The rest of the story consists of the man's thoughts after this event. Quiroga's approach to...

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"The Dead Man" is the story of an accident. Working on his banana plantation one morning, the protagonist slips while trying to step over a barbed-wire fence and falls on his machete.

The rest of the story consists of the man's thoughts after this event. Quiroga's approach to representing these thoughts is measured and might even be called "naturalistic"—naturalism being a literary movement that centers on the realistic portrayal of events from a clinical, even scientific perspective.

In the story, the protagonist has little emotion, beyond surprise, and there is not any emotional response on the part of the narrator. Instead, the protagonist reflects on the fragility of life and how quickly death can come, although it is never expected. There is emphasis on what the protagonist can see from his place on the ground: his horse, the leaves of his banana trees. Mostly, however, there is the sense that this is his plantation: the protagonist thinks over and over about the work that went into creating this place and how no one else knows it like he does. This extends into the smallest details, like how the handle of his machete is worn and would need replacing soon. The plantation is his life's work, and this work has killed him.

I don't have access to your textbook, but I see that this story is included in a chapter called "Latin America Emerges." From this, I would assume that the story is discussed as a kind of pioneer story—a story about the sacrifices and work required to settle in the jungle. The story does emphasize the labor involved in running the plantation. More than that, however, the story is about the dedication and mentality of the farmer, so I would imagine your text would discuss how labor affected the Latin way of life.

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