General view of Rancho de los Peñasquitos, a drawing from History of San Diego County, California, published in 1883. Courtesy the Library of Congress. x This rancho of more than 8,000 acres belonged to Ruiz de Burton's greatuncle, Francisco Ruiz. It was the first Mexican land grant in California. Writing against Wilderness: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's Elite Environmental Justice Karen L. Kilcup "The water is in the sea now, for there we let it go every year; but if we were sensible, judicious men, we would not let it go to waste--we would save it" (54). Negotiating with the uncivilized squatters determined to usurp his land and kill his cattle, Don Mariano Alamar, the eponymous hero of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's novel The Squatter and the Don (1885), addresses readers as a model citizen: forward-thinking, generous, and--unlike his interlocutors--judicious. The author, I will argue, deploys Don Mariano as a paradigmatic, "civilized" figure in an argument for environmental justice for Mexican Americans in early California, simultaneously attempting, via her avatar's virtuoso rhetorical appeals to logic, emotion, and ethics, to enlist to her cause readers constructed as progressive and elite. At the same time, the hero's classinflected politics
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Feb 20, 2013
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