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The Slum

3 Pages 777 Words

The Slum written by Aluisio Azevedo is a book centered on a slum called Sao Romao, its inhabitants, and the people who live close by to this slum. In this slum there are many people with different backgrounds and ethnicity who live there, and they all have their own stories to tell. Throughout this story Azevedo presents certain aspects of life in Brazil, specifically race and ethnicity, women’s roles, and Social class. Overall this book kept me reading, I found it entertaining, and I found it to be a good story. Eventhough there wasn’t a main character; I felt the story primarily revolved around the life of Joao Romao, the lord of the slum, how he started as a lower level entrapanure, to his rise to the next social level.

In the beginning of the story Romao, a Portuguese, was a hard working proprietor with dreams of moving up in social stature. He had a lover also, she was black slave named Bertoleza, and she prepared food for him. But Romao felt sorry for her, when her roommate died, and her shack broken into, he helped her with finances, and advised her what to do with her life. Eventually she would move in, but having Bertoleza as a lover and roommate would later complicate Romao’s life, but I’ll get into that later. Already in the book I can see tension between race and ethnicity. In Brazil at the time there were the Portuguese, the upper race, the mulatto a mix between black and Portuguese, the middle race, and the Blacks who were on the bottom. “A filthy wretch who never wore a jacket and ate and slept with a Negress”, this was spoken of Romao by his high class neighbor Miranda another Portuguese. At this time Miranda was angry with Romao for having a slum next to his nice new house that he just moved into, but as time went on the neighbors became closer. There was always tension between the Brazilians and Portuguese in the book. After Jeronimo had killed Firmo, his wife Piedade went over to Rita’s b...

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