"An Eloquent and Impassioned Plea": The Rhetoric of Ruiz de Burton's The Squatter and the Don Since Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita's publication of a new edition of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's The Squatter and the Don in 1992, a steadily growing body of work on Ruiz de Burton and her novels has emerged. The critical corpus on her is still not large enough, though, to match her significance in California history and in the literary tradition of Latina writers in California. As the first narrative about the state's Mexican landowners published in English by a Mexican American woman and from the perspective of the conquered Mexican culture, The Squatter and the Don (1885) is remarkable for the ways it complicates nineteenth-century stereotypes of Latin Americans, particularly Latin American women, as several critics have successfully argued. But what is often overlooked is the novel's pervasive rhetorical appeal. The narrator of this "novel with a purpose," as more than one reviewer called it, is constantly aware of her readers and seeks to educate them about the plight of the Californios and to persuade them to take action against the injustices the Californios suffered at the hands of the
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Jun 15, 2009
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