Nineteenth-Century Abolitionist Literature of Cuba and Brazil Criticism: Prose - Essay

Raymond S. Sayers (essay date 1956)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sayers, Raymond S. “The Negro in the Romantic Novel.” In The Negro in Brazilian Literature, pp. 165-83. New York: Hispanic Institute in the United States, 1956.

[In the following excerpt, Sayers discusses Brazilian abolitionist novels written between 1850 and 1888, many of them thematically influenced by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.]

The period from 1850 to 1888 is marked by great development in the technique, subject matter and quality of Brazilian fiction. From the first tentative fumblings of Teixeira e Sousa and Joaquim Manuel de Macedo before the midpoint of the century, the novel traversed the stages of Indianism, historical fiction, and...

(The entire section is 7156 words.)

G. R. Coulthard (essay date 1962)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Coulthard, G. R. “The Anti-Slavery Novel in Cuba: Indians and Negroes.” In Race and Colour in Caribbean Literature, pp. 6-26. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.

[In the following essay, Coulthard discusses antislavery themes in several nineteenth-century Cuban novels and poems, arguing that abolitionism was in many respects a cause taken up by Cuban liberals to gain the support of the island's black majority to help overthrow Spain's colonial rule.]

One of the aims of writers in Latin America in the nineteenth century was to find an original and distinctive note for their literary creations and one of the subjects they introduced to lend an unmistakable...

(The entire section is 8427 words.)

Constance García-Barrio (essay date December 1977)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: García-Barrio, Constance. “The Abolitionist Novel in Nineteenth-Century Cuba.” CLA Journal 21, no. 2 (December 1977): 224-37.

[In the following essay, García-Barrio analyzes six nineteenth-century Cuban novels commonly described as abolitionist, arguing that as a result of strict censorship laws in Cuba prohibiting the denunciation of slavery, only two Cuban novels from the period should rightly be regarded as abolitionist.]

During the first decades of the nineteenth century in Cuba, slaves became the primary source of labor for the rapidly growing sugar industry. The growth of the industry had not been matched by more efficient means of production, and...

(The entire section is 5022 words.)

Miriam Decosta-Willis (essay date July-December 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Decosta-Willis, Miriam. “Self and Society in the Afro-Cuban Slave Narrative.” Latin American Literary Review 16, no. 32 (July-December 1988): 6-15.

[In the following essay, Decosta-Willis analyzes themes of desire for freedom and self-identity in two autobiographical narratives written by former Cuban slaves—Juan Francisco Manzano and Esteban Montejo.]

As for me, from the moment that I lost my hopes, I ceased to be a faithful slave; from an humble, submissive being, I turned the most discontented of mankind: I wished to have wings to fly from the place, and to go to Havana; and from that day my only thoughts were in planning how to...

(The entire section is 4782 words.)

Sharon Romeo Fivel-Démoret (essay date January 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fivel-Démoret, Sharon Romeo. “The Production and Consumption of Propaganda Literature: The Cuban Anti-Slavery Novel.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 66, no. 1 (January 1989): 1-12.

[In the following essay, Fivel-Démoret questions whether four Cuban novels written in the late 1830s should be labeled abolitionist, concluding that while they all advocated some level of reform, only Avellaneda's Sab offered a clear denunciation of Cuban slavery.]

This article is based on four Cuban novels written in 1838 and 1839: Francisco, Anselmo Suárez y Romero, 1838-39; Petrona y Rosalía, Félix Tanco y Bosmoniel, 1838; El Ranchador, Pedro...

(The entire section is 7441 words.)

Jerome Branche (essay date fall 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Branche, Jerome. “Ennobling Savagery? Sentimentalism and the Subaltern in Sab.Afro-Hispanic Review 17, no. 2 (fall 1998): 12-23.

[In the following essay, Branche contests standard depictions of Avellaneda's Sab as a pioneering abolitionst/feminist novel, arguing that the novel's characters, plot, and themes betray the author's own deep-seated racism.]

“Rock stone a' river bottom no know sun hot.”

Jamaican Saying.

Notwithstanding what seemed obvious to a contemporary reading of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda's first novel, Sab (1841)1 there is a...

(The entire section is 8819 words.)