Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*Sequeiro Grande

*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

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...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Chamberlain, Bobby J. Jorge Amado. Boston: Twayne, 1990. A study of aspects of Amado’s major novels. Places the author’s fiction in a biographical and bibliographic context, offers critical analysis, and lays the groundwork for a reevaluation of the author’s novelistic output. Discusses The Violent Land as the forerunner of the later novels. Chronology and annotated bibliography.

Ellison, Fred P. Brazil’s New Novel: Four Northeastern Masters. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954. Insightful study examining style, theme, and characterization in Amado’s early fiction. Includes a discussion of The Violent Land. One of the earliest studies in English of Amado.

Lowe, Elizabeth. The City in Brazilian Literature. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982. Characterizes Amado’s depiction of Salvador, Bahia, as “picturesque exoticism,” and his portrayal of the urban poor as “carnivalization.”

Pescatello, Ann, ed. “The Braziliera: Images and Realities in Writings of Machado de Assis and Jorge Amado.” In Female and Male in Latin America: Essays. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973. Compares Amado’s female characters (including those in The Violent Land) with those of Machado de Assis. Detects a preoccupation with class and race in both writers’ female characterizations.

Schade, George D. “Three Contemporary Brazilian Novels: Some Comparisons and Contrasts.” Hispania 39, no. 4 (December, 1956): 391-396. Compares the structure, theme, and characterization in The Violent Land with Graciliano Ramos’ Anguish (1936) and Rachel de Queiroz’s The Three Marias (1939).