Joaquin Murieta

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“...There is nothing so dangerous in its consequences as injustice to individuals--whether it arise from prejudice of color or from any other source; that a wrong done to one man is a wrong to society and to the world” (158). Violence against one is violence against the world. In order to feel a sense of justice, one can be forced to bear arms and literally fight back. In Joaquin Murieta by John Rollin Ridge, Joaquin is forced to do just that. As Frantz Fanon says in The Wretched of the Earth, violence is the only way for the colonized to reconstruct what it is to being human. Hatred is an asset and violence is the way to exercise newly found freedom. Joaquin uses this ideology to fight back against the injustice and racism he has experienced.…show more content…
Powell’s Historical Multiculturalism: Cultural Complexity in the First Native American Novel, he focuses on the narrative’s violence and examines all confrontational exchanges throughout the novel: “the multicultural character of the nation [as portrayed in Joaquín Murieta] is an inherently violent and radically unstable historical phenomenon in which forces of democratic inclusion clash openly with forces of racist exclusion, the will to imperial expansion collides head on with the will to monocultural unity, and the capitalist need for new markets and cheap labor is sharply undercut by a nativist backlash that seeks to define the cultural boundaries of ‘American’ citizenship along strict racial lines” (Powell 198). Powell essentially offers “a study of violence in violent terms” (Windell). In Joaquin Murieta, mobs of “lawless and desperate men, who bore the name of Americans but failed to support the honor and dignity of that title,” (9) drive Murieta and Rosita from their homes several times. This is the epitome of interracial violence. The narrator asserts that it is the white Americans going into California who make the chance of peace following the war impossible--the Mexicans go to California in order to receive the American dream and expect the “melting pot” that is advertised by America. Sick of the injustice inflicted upon him, Murieta decides to fight back, quite literally. He creates his own band of hooligans to attack the white Americans.…show more content…
Sentimental power is a “radical discourse of power that uses complex rhetorical and intellectual strategies ‘to reorganize culture from the woman’s point of view’ (Tompkins 124)” (Berlant 332). The sensational parts of Joaquín Murieta are based off the violence of the historical events on which the novel is founded. The sentimental power of the women in Joaquín Murieta is sprinkled throughout the novel as poetry and drawings: “women’s tears, produced at will, Deceive in life, unman in death” (81). This imagery reflects negativity toward women—seeing their tears as fake and unauthentic. It also talks about disarming men, by being manipulative, almost contending with the self-destructive violence of the men. Manipulation is shown through the narrator comments on the addiction of woman because the very being of them is emotional: “…they left him to die—all but his sorrowing mistress, who resolved to remain with him whatever might befall. They turned to look as they departed, and the last they saw was the faithful girl with her lover’s head upon her lap, pouring her tears upon him like a healing balm from her heart…for the love of woman is beautiful at all times, whether she smiles under gilded canopies in her satin garments or weeps over a world-hated criminal alone and naked in a desert” (40). The narrator says “the love of woman is beautiful at all times” even when its in grief. This is odd imagery because it

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