Vita By Joao Briehl Summary

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Joao Biehl’s “Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment” studies the suddenly heightening prevalence of underdeveloped areas in disturbingly inhuman settings, providing shelter to the citizens of Brazil who have been classified as social outcasts. These areas have been named “zones of social abandonment” (367) for there is an absence of medical and political attention resulting in the petrifying human wastage system; citizens are getting dropped off and left due to being mentally ill or plain impoverished. Biehl narrows the focal point from the all areas of similar descriptions to one of particular, Vita, located in South Brazil. Having described the place as “the end-station on the road of poverty” (373) where “living beings go when they are no longer considered people” (374), Biehl deems living in Vita as comparable to living with the notion that death in such cruel manners is commonplace due to the scarcity in medical equipment, the widespread deficiency of funding, and the incompetent ambiance. Biehl specifically does a case study on Catarina, a young female occupant who is arguably the most vivid effect of the tragedy having befallen Vita. Catarina embodies the aftermath of the interplay between various…show more content…
He extensively roots Catarina’s permanent trauma, which manifests itself through her encrypted writing, to the remorseless alienation from society that is being forced upon her. Biehl organizes the study into six parts, allowing each part to classify a distinct concept, along with detailed images of the ambiance of Vita, its inhabitants, Catarina, and others who lucidly embody the concepts discussed. The book is set to progress by tackling reality, or her condition, as it seems from a first impression, then abandoning all that is known so as to retrace and build from the ground up instead of tearing from the roof

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