Prejudice In Brazil Essay

928 words - 4 pages

Prejudice in BrazilThe dictionary defines prejudice as narrow-mindedness. It also defines it asassimilation, absorption or digestion. The story of Gaspar Pereira Reboucas and RitaBrasilia dos Santos is very interesting and is a testament of how important race andeducation is in not only Brazil, but the world in general. Their struggles would onlybecome a motivating tool in their advancement into the White World.Reboucas and dos Santos are typical of many marriages and couplings inBrazil,Their different backgrounds, cultures, and class served as a melting pot forBrazilian society. Their offspring would only grow to become the new faces of Brazilianculture. While assimilating to the dominant White Brazilian culture, one will lose allrespect for his lower-class heritage and eventually become the ugly beast that hedesperately fought against.Gaspar Pereira Reboucas and Rita Brasilia dos Santos were two very differentpeople. Reboucas was a white Portuguese who immigrated to Brazil to look for a betterlife. Rita dos Santos was a freed mulatto woman who found interest in Gaspar. Brazilianculture in those day's was and still is based on skin color. Men in Brazil found Black andmulatto women more appealing. Leon Spitzer states, " For Gaspar Pereiera Reboucas,Rita's race and physical appearance may in themselves have been attractive forces, andconsciously or unconsciously she may have taken advantage of this attraction." P 106Rita knew that Gaspar was attracted to her and she knew that he would do anything forher.Rita and Gaspars relationship grew and they eventually had numerous kids, butthe relationship may have been calculated and was not based on love. Spitzer say's, " Inorder to bring about her marriage to Gaspar Periera Reboucas, Rita Brasilia dos Santos nodoubt took advantage of a means of social ascension- of an aspect of the "mulatto escapehatch"- that was uniquely available to women of color in Brazil." P 106 Rita only usedGaspar to gain status in class and have children who would be lighter incomplexion then her.As the two were married, Rita felt as if she had to fit into or at least adapt to theWhite upper class in Brazil. Spitzer states, " No doubt, they might also have attempted toproject their status through their external appearance and through their publicmanifestation of elite values. P 109 In doing this, Rita is letting go of everything sheknows and values and is trying to show that she is of higher class. This is typical of manypeople who accumulate a new status.As Rita and Gaspars relationship grew, they had nine children. Education inBrazil started to become very imperative and was another means of gaining status.Spitzer states, " It was the acquisition of formal education that further enhanced theadmissions of the Reboucas to the higher status professions." P110 Spitzer goes on tosay, " Those children of Gaspar and Rita who received the greatest amount of formalschooling studied during a period when significant...

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