Sample Literature Review On Reading Response To “Sotrilege II: Zumbi Returns”
Type of paper: Literature Review
Topic: Discrimination, Brazil, Hatred, Racism, Stereotypes, Bias, Prejudice, Crime
“Sotrilege II: Zumbi Returns” by author, Abdias do Nascimento, is a Brazilian play that merges Afro-Brazilian themes that were socio-political and controversial. This was in large part because it was written in 1951, during a time when racial tensions were at their highest. In fact, it was banned by Brazilian police for six years; forcing do Nascimento to do a complete rewrite.
The play showcases its lead character, Dr. Emanuel Esquire, who is an Afro-Brazilian lawyer that is wanted for the murder of his wife. The irony is that he is a black man who internalizes his own racial hatred, yet exercises it vocally and through acts of violence against those he loves. As the police get close to finding Esquire, he sheds his Western persona for his African heritage in order to escape his wrongdoing. It is only then that he realizes his great disdain of prejudice against his own people and returns to his roots; thinking this will save him. Little does he know that he does not escape the confines within himself that keep him trapped as he is beheaded in the end.
The reader gains a glimpse into the controversial world of slavery and how its prejudices against people of color during this time were heinous. To be enslaved meant one was removed from their native lands, cultures, and society to be thrust into an unknown world where their every move was monitored and dictated. Esquire struggles with his own identity and strives to be something he is not in order to separate himself from the realities of his life. This is insofar to gain a hatred and prejudice in order to keep up the façade which ultimately leads to his demise. In his case, either way his life was tragic. Hatred and prejudice are powerful forces to be reckoned with. These were the very tenets that made slavery what it was.
do Nascimento, Abdias. Sotrilege II: Zumbi Returns. Cambridge: University Press, 1994. Print.