The Case Of The Ugly Suitor Analysis

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Shumway’s book, The Case of the Ugly Suitor, focuses on how life was in Buenos Aires on a day-to-day basis, the customs of the city as well as the traditions held for family and marriage. Throughout the book Shumway argues how women had little rights in Buenos Aires, before the May Revolution of 1810, and used specific examples to explain to his reader how women were fighting for their rights and how successful the attempt was. Not only did Shumway focus on women trying to extend their rights, but he also expressed how the May Revolution impacted the culture in Buenos Aires and ultimately altered some of the traditions (such as marriage) that were held in Argentina. Overall, I believe that Shumway made a sound argument throughout The Case…show more content…
However, when the Spanish were able to gain contact with Buenos Aires, some of the social traditions around marriage and patriarchy were shifted. The Spanish were able to “soften” the traditions of marriage in Buenos Aires by not marrying because your parents told you to, but instead by marrying for love; the only boundary the Spanish had when it came to marriage was to be sure that your suitor was “in your circle” and would have the same cultural values as you (Shumway 95). Shumway was able to provide evidence of how marriage began before the Spanish had contact with Buenos Aires, when they had contact with the Argentineans and how this led to a more accepting culture when it ultimately came to the topic of interracial marriage. By discussing the progression of marriage in Buenos Aires in this way, it is clear that the Spanish “softening” the marriage requirements and lessening the role of patriarchal power has allowed the culture to be more accepting of interracial marriage, beginning the first legal action taken towards equality of a minority class (Shumway 113). This lead to an acceptance of diversity throughout Argentina and contributed to close the gap between social statuses and marriage. Cases like Antonio de Avendañano’s brought to court the injustices and unfair hoops he had to jump through in order to participate in an…show more content…
Shumway tied these two ideas together in a concise way that created a strong bond of how women got their rights in Buenos Aires. Before the revolution, women were stuck in very traditional roles and generally seen as being the caregivers. However, after the revolution, women were able to have more responsibilities and gain better education. Women during the revolution were allowed to take on honorary roles and after the revolution were able to advance their educational opportunities and publish their own writings. After the May Revolution of 1810, the Spanish were able to extend women’s education by getting women the ability to have “the appropriate education” (Shumway 122). Shumway strengthened his argument of women extending their education and opportunities by referencing Guillermo Furlong, (a historian’s) work, La cultura femenina en la época colonial. This strengthened Shumway’s argument of increasing the education opportunities offered for women as Furlong discusses how women were able to receive education in private homes by women known as “amigas” where girls were able to learn a variety of different skills. (Shumway 123). Connections to well-known historians and pulling from their knowledge only adds more to Shumway’s argument. By adding this historian’s research and

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