Finding its place: Reading the Squatter and the Don through genres
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María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's novel The Squatter and the Don (1885) is a historical romance novel that is set in California at the end of the 19th century. It describes the struggle over land between Californio landowners and Anglo-American squatters that occurred following the war between Mexico and the U.S. in 1848. While the novel is generally categorized as a historical romance novel, it posits a sort of unease in relation to genre that I will explore. I will look into different characteristic of the historical romance genre, and examine how the novel does and does not conform. I explore elements of parody, and claim that these contribute to a sort of alliance between the narrator and the reader. The narrator has an important role in the novel because he/she speaks on behalf of the Californios, and tries to evoke sympathy and change on their behalf. He/she is not a character in the novel but functions rather as a witness. The role of the narrator and the particular nature of the last chapter Out with the Invader" allow me to consider the novel within the more recent genre of Testimonio.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
SubjectThe Squatter and the DonGenreCalifornioCaliforniaromanceparodytestimonynarratorRuiz de Burton19th century american literature
- English 204
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