Bel Canto Historical Analysis

Topics: Hostage, Hostage taking, Terrorism Pages: 2 (717 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Historical Analysis
In Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, the setting is reflected off of the Lima Crisis, otherwise known as the Japanese embassy hostage crisis, which began on December 17, 1996. Bel Canto is a story on the events that happen in the house of a South American country’s vice president. It portrays the relationships of the characters and their feelings toward one another as well as explains the hostage situation. In the Japanese embassy hostage crisis, similar events took place, such as the actual overtake of a mansion which contained high-ranking military officials and others of a high social standing. Both settings deal with the releasing of hostages in exchange for demands that were never met, which led to the resolution of both the Lima crisis and Patchett’s Bel Canto. Bel Canto reflects the historical Japanese embassy hostage crisis, although Bel Canto has a third person omniscient point of view of the occurrences on the inside of the mansion. Bel Canto imitates the incidences of the Japanese embassy hostage crisis.

The Japanese embassy hostage crisis was a 126 day hostage crisis where members of a revolutionary movement known as the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement had taken over 600 hostages, a decent amount of which were high ranked military officials and other well-known ambassadors. The MRTA, led by Nestor Cerpa, took over the highly fortified residence of the Japanese ambassador. Cerpa proclaimed that he would release any of his hostages who weren’t involved with the Peruvian government, and they did so. The MRTA eventually release all the captives except 72 men. The original plan of this takeover was to change the ways of the government. In Bel Canto, although the terrorists originally came to take the president, they were a rebellious group from the country and wanted changes in the government. The rebels demanded a few things in return for the safety of the hostages. They requested “The release of their members from prison; a revision...
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