The Old Gringo Analysis

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Nationalists in Mexico during the early 1900s seeked independence from european systems and culture, they wanted a culture of their own filled with different arts, musics, literature showing who they are as a nation (Chasteen, pg 218, 2001). These nationalists did not gain as much as landowners did from the export boom and saw the wealth leaving the country and not benefitting the people within (Chasteen, pg 217, 2001). Nationalists wanted to take back their resources, such as oil, from foreign companies and stop the companies from taking wealth, that belonged to the country, away. Although not all, most nationalists were middle-class people who are racially mixed (Chasteen, pg 217,2001). General Tomás Arroyo is a main character from the novel The Old Gringo. Arroyo is a Mexican nationalist, who is commanding a force to meet up with the great Pancho Villa, a nationalist icon in Mexican history. Arroyo throughout the story is a true example of what Mexican nationalism is. Arroyo is the product of his former hacienda owner and the rape of his servant indian mother (Fuentes, 1985). He is now in control of the…show more content…
Arroyo sees Harriet as a person he can show the meaning of Mexican nationalism to. He is eager to show her what nationalism is all about, how this is his peoples country and how their true culture is ignored and set aside by European foreign culture. It is evident that Arroyo does not want to just be seen as a radical revolutionary but more of as a symbol for his people of national pride and the quest for the return of a country belonging to the people. By the end of the book, Harriet is begins to learn what it means to be Mexican, have your country taken away from you and the fight that Arroyo is willing to endure in order to get it

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