The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes.

I need help creating a thesis and an outline on The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. [The [The [The “The Death of Artemio Cruz” by Carlos Fuentes To many Mexicans, the Revolution of 1910 is the great and inescapable fact in their country’s destiny and their own personal identity. A second conquest of the land and the past, it was the climax of four centuries of turbulent history and the adumbration of all that had happened since. The revolution did more than topple the paternal dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz: It tore a nation apart with fratricidal strife and put it together again in a strange new way that continued to disturb and puzzle its citizens.

At the beginning of the novel, the reader finds the elderly Artemio Cruz, who has recently awakened on his deathbed and cannot even bear to open his eyes in the midst of his intense pain and agony. However, there is “una fuga de luces negras y circulos azules” (Fuentes 9) beyond his closed eyelids that forces him to open one eye and see, in turn, the fragmented reflection of his own face through the uneven sequins on his daughter Teresa’s purse. “Trato de recordarlo en el reflejo. era un rostro roto en vidrios sin simetria, con el ojo muy cerca de la oreja y muy lejos de su par, con la nueca distribuida en tres espejos circulantes” (Fuentes 10). This encounter with his fragmented reflection is symbolic of his lived experience, which informs the reader’s experience, throughout the novel. it is a startling encounter with the various fragments of the self, in addition to the fear, panic and ultimately, the truth that such an experience entails. Thus, it is not difficult to deduce that the three voices signify the fragmentation of the narrator. However, the reader is still left to wonder how the psyche has divided, what each voice means, and how the three are related. In some ways, the situation can be compared to the aftermath of the Civil War in the United States, where for decades Americans tried to see their fraternal conflict in perspectives of cause and consequence. The author rejects Mexican life of his time but at the same time uses it in his novels to test his sensuous powers and dramatic vigor. The country he writes about is not the land that tourists see or a land of tradition. it is the country of art, a place and people transformed by compelling imagination into something rich, strange, and meaningful.

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The Death of Artemio Cruz is more limited in its presentation of this theme than Fuentes’ previous work. The book is somewhat flawed by a bewildering cross-chronology, in which the points of view constantly shift and intermingle, and by the varied stylistic effects. In the end, however, the novel rises above its faults in its compelling picture of one man’s life and the relation of that life to the years of disorder and change that had conditioned the course of twentieth century Mexican history. The central figure is again a force in the land, a millionaire who has climbed to his position of wealth and power by violence, blackmail, bribery, and brutal exploitation of the workers. Through the novel, like a refrain, runs a reference to the time just before Lorenzo went off to fight in the Spanish war when father and son took a morning ride toward the sea. By the end of the novel, Artemio’s story fulfills all that it promised to a young boy, one man’s journey with no real beginning or end in time, marked by love, solitude, violence, power, friendship, disillusionment, corruption, forgetfulness, innocence, and delight. There is also in this story the depiction of how a man’s death is joined to his beginning.

Fuentes employs three voices in the narrative. The first is the third person, used to present in dramatic form the events of Artemio’s life as they are pieced together in past time. The second is the “I” of the present, as the old man lies dying, shrinking from the decay of his body, and taking fitful account of what is going on around him. The third is a vatic presence never identified that addresses Artemio as “you.” This, perhaps, is the unrealized Artemio, the man he might have been.

The Death of Artemio Cruz is a divided book, terse, chaotic, passionate, and ironic. Too much has been made, undoubtedly, of Carlos Fuentes as one of Mexico’s angry young men. In spite of his Marxist beliefs, he is essentially a romantic, and he possesses an exuberant, powerful talent. Aside from the surface effects of undisciplined but compelling style, Fuentes’ writing is strikingly clear and unhackneyed, even in translation.

Works Cited

Fuentes, Carlos. The Death of Artemio Cruz. 1962. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991.

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