Character Analysis: Child of the Dark

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Patrick McGuire

Latin American History


Child of the Dark Essay

I found Child of the Dark interesting because Carolina’s diary captures both her highs and lows emotionally. She can be very judgmental but also sympathetic. Her upbringing had a great influence on the shaping of her character. She was an illegitimate child of her father who was married to another woman. Because of this, she was treated as an outcast growing up. She had a very aggressive personality because she was always defending herself. But most importantly, she went to school just long enough to learn how to read and write. This ability and her passion for education separated from the rest in the favelas, "I don't know how to sleep without reading. I like to leaf through a book. The book is man's best invention so far." (Jesus 17)

Race seems to not be an issue with Carolina as much as education. She is a well educated and self-sufficient black mother and has difficulty dealing with the ignorance of those living in the favelas. When she mentions race, she always ties it back to education. As she mentions the anniversary of the Abolition, she says “In the jails the Negroes were the scapegoats. But now the whites are more educated and don’t treat us any more with contempt. May God enlighten the whites so that the Negroes may have a happier life.” (Jesus 23) She doesn’t pass judgment on the whites as a race, she blames ignorance. This is quite unique, because she frequently mentions that she is harassed for being black throughout her diary. Beyond education, she also considered herself a very devout catholic. She considers God her greatest asset as she deals with the temptation to steal food or other necessities. She states that favela life leads people with normally good moral conscience to do things they normally wouldn’t. She takes pride in the fact she supports her children without stealing and attributes her faith.

Though Carolina defies a number of...
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