Miguel Angel Asturias Essay

2230 words - 9 pages

Miguel Angel Asturias

Miguel Angel Asturias was born in Guatemala City in 1899. He received his law degree from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala. After finishing at the University, Asturias and a few colleagues founded the Popular University of Guatemala for those who could not afford to attend the national university. In 1923 he went to Paris where he wrote El Señor Presidente. Due to it's political implications he was unable to bring the book with him in 1933 when he returned to Guatemala. At that time the dictator Jorge Ubico ruled Guatemala. The original version was to remain unpublished for thirteen years. In 1944, the fall of Ubico's regime brought Professor Juan José Arévalo to presidency. Arévalo immediately appointed Asturias cultural attaché to the Guatemalan Embassy in Mexico, where the first edition of El Señor Presidente appeared in 1946. The book was later translated into english as The President in 1964. (Encarta, 2000).
The President begins with a murder of a colonel by a homeless man whom is referred to as the Zany. The police took many homeless people in for questioning to find out who caused the murder of Colonel Sonriente. The police made the homeless people say that it was General Canales and Abel Carvajal, the lawyer who committed the crime. They did this by beating them until they said that it was the two men who murdered the Colonel. One peasant, the Mosquito, insisted that the Zany committed the murdered and would not give into their beatings. The Mosquito was beaten to death because he would not give the Judge Advocate the answer that he demanded.
The President gave orders to Miguel Angel Face, the President's confidential advisor, to help General Canales to escape. He told Miguel, also referred to as the favourite, to do this without being seen by the police. Miguel decided to get the help of Lucio Vasquez and Genaro Rodas. He did this by telling them that he was in love with General Canales's daughter Camila. He wanted to go to the house and kidnap her. The plan that he told Camila and her father was for Camila to yell out of the window "Burglars have broken in! Help! Burglars!" Which would give the General time to escape. Then Miguel and his two helpers would kidnap Camila. He was to bring Camila to one of the General's brother's house.
Genaro Rodas's wife went to General Canales's house to warn him of the anticipated arrest. She arrived too late, he had already escaped. The soldiers found her at the house and arrested her. The soldiers and the Judge Advocate then proceeded to the house of Abel Carvajal, the lawyer, to arrest him.
The Judge Advocate repeatidly questioned Señora Rodas as to the where a bouts of General Canalas. She answered each time that she did not know and did not see him when she came to his house, for he had already escaped. The Judge Advocate had her baby brought from her house. The baby was crying because it needed to be fed by his...

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