Rodo and Bolivar

On the whole, I thought Rodo’s piece was condescending, and ridiculously so. Although he does spend a decent amount of time discussing some good things about North American achievements and culture, he does so with snide metaphors and colorfully dull language that consistently hints at the faults behind those achievements. A quote that summarizes this goal is “But to ignore a North American’s defects would seem to me as senseless as to deny his good qualities” (34). He basically spends an entire paragraph, which spans two full pages (34-35), putting two or more metaphors into each sentence to try and spice up the point he is trying to make: that North America, while good at some things, lacks the general culture and intellectual sophistication and uniqueness that makes Latin American so great. He goes on to say that to try and better a country by taking after another that has achieved apparent success is a stupid idea, a statement that I blatantly disagree with, considering the fact that some countries are more successful than others, and that this is a natural characteristic of society. Bolivar’s letter, although similar to Rodo’s Ariel in some ways, is much less bold in stating disdain for North America, although he still does. On page 173, he condemns the United States for plaguing “America with miseries in the name of Freedom,” which seems a rather weak claim coming from Bolivar, who seems to be only a fearfully “obedient servant” (173) to the British Colonel. Both pieces are openly opposed to the United States and the greatness it has achieved, and I think they would both eat their words if they saw what else it has accomplished since the composition of their pieces.