In this exquisite piece of work, Child of the Dark: the Diary of Carolina Maria De Jesus is most defiantly about the hard times that took place in the slums of Sao Paulo. Carolina diary, written from scraps of paper picked from the streets, when collecting paper to sell daily for the survival of her life and her three children in the home of the poor, the hungry, and the desperate; known as the Brazilian “favela.” This strong woman has been through so much that the average person can’t even imagine. She describes and brings you to the attention of brutality and the seldom-told truth of the lowest social class in the Brazil.
The perception that Carolina Maria de Jesus describes in her diary a vivid view from her closes inner thoughts, feelings, and dreams of life. At times she can be very critical, humorous, strong, or poetic. Knowing she is a single mother, Carolina feels exiled from this terrible place, but she takes pride in the fact that she earns her own way. Instead of insulting herself with stealing, no obstacles can bring this strong woman down. She is also very confused with emotions about trusting anyone, especially men. Carolina starts to create a record of life in the favela, taking account of all the bad actions: not just of the people in favela, but also the politicians who contribute to the factor of the poor. She tells the people who treat her with disrespect that they will end up in her book, she consider this task to be important. Her diary contains crucial and important things to say about the failure of politicians to address the needs of the poor, and the many situations such as fighting, criminality, racism, and sexism. In the society she lives in this gives a powerful perception of reality. Even though she has only two years of education, she is intelligent and educated woman. Her conclusion of favela is complex. Facing the everyday complex social and economic forces that are against the poor, Carolina knows there are no quick fixes or solutions when dealing with poverty. Carolina becomes assertive by challenging people, Carolina as an independent woman concludes that the poor are not just a group to be frowned upon, and furthermore, they are also the same human beings just like the rest of civilization but just in a lower class.
“I can take the ups and downs of life. If I can’t store up the courage to live, I’ve resolved to store up the patience (22).” In her diary entry from July 19, 1955, Carolina’s continues to be frustrated with favela women and earn enough money to feed her children, trying to find a resolution out of this terrible situation. The biggest problem Carolina faces are her everyday task: finding food and protecting her children. She must know how to cope with complex challenges, but patience plays a more important role than any other factor, this is a necessity. So many threatening crises overwhelm Carolina; once again patience helps her to negotiate them with dignity. For example, one of the problems that she came across is when her son Jose was accused of raping a woman’s two year old daughter. Although, her way of coping with these problems is to consistently write in her diary as a part of Carolina’s strategy to store up the patience. This in essence gives her a meaningful life and allows her to keep record of the wrong actions of people who are held accountable. This helps Carolina to avoid having mindless fights that she sees all around her, and escape the tragedy of favela.
One of the main problems seen is when Carolina’s constantly threats favela people that she will put those who do her wrong will be in her book, this defines her character throughout the diary. The people will have to suffer for their indiscretions, later having them explain their actions. Accountability is surely lacking in the favela, and Carolina thinks she can restore it through writing. Whether she is simply writing daily records or creating complex criticism of the favela, Carolina tremendous gets her power and identity from writing. Carolina continues use her diary as a weapon against those in the favela who do her wrong, as a result, she threatens to put them in her book. Carolina knows that words have some type of power; otherwise she wouldn’t bother making such a threat.
On the contrary, some questions have raised my interest, and I think are some type importance. For instance, when Carolina writes, she imagines she “lives in a golden castle that shines in the sunlight.” What could this possibly mean? The quote can represent many things to Carolina. This can offers refuge from the humiliations and obstacles she experiences on a daily basis, or the way she disgust favela alone. This imagination can also interpret a place for Carolina to process her thoughts, so she can continue to relax. Those are some possible conclusions why she imagines living in a Golden Castle. In addition, another metaphor that comes to mind is when she describes this life as living in “a bird cage.” After rereading this part, I have come to understand that this was directed toward politicians. The roles presented as the president of Brazil as a bird in a cage, Carolina implies that he is trapped inside his own arrogance and is not at all concerned about helping the poor. The image of the bird in a cage presumably looked at great power. In contrast, Carolina perceives the president as a small and confined bird, while the ‘favelados’ are starving cats, waiting to prey on there food. This entails a change in relationship, implying if the president doesn’t do something, the poor will eat this man alive, in retrospect.
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