Caballero Review

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Caballero Review It is an irony that something that can raise a person to their highest level has the same power to dissolve it. In the case of Caballero, pride and vision fuel the Mendoza family to establish an hacienda and be respected among their peers. This greatness, in their eyes, is the fruit of hard work, family, and traditions followed through many generations. Through the course of the novel, pride remains a key element in Don Santiago, but somewhere vision is lost and is blurred by the pestering war that raises emotion to take control of his actions. A reasonable man can do many things, but Don Santiago’s reason is blinded by rage directed at people whom he knows little to nothing of. Letting pride take the best of him, he alone is the cause for the fall of his family. When Don Jose arrived in the area known as Rancho Las Palmas, the land was unmarked and unwanted, so he labeled it his and raised a great hacienda and family. However, during this time, power and control changed as countries fought for this land. No one really took notice to the area of South Texas, for it was not yet settled by Americans, and it was too far from Mexico to be of real significance to them. This made life for the first hundred years at Rancho Las Palmas fairly easy to follow traditions and live as planned. With the dispute of the land between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers came trouble for Don Santiago’s reign. As the Anglo’s fought for control of this land, they brought with them a whole other culture, alien to that of the rancheros. Also, Don Santiago felt the presence of unwanted guests in his territory that had been only disturbed by measly Indians in the past. But how would he protect this lifelong reign of Rancho Las Palmas against these big unknown Anglos? The authors, Gonzalez and Raleigh, continually emphasize the size difference and physical appearance of the Anglo men and how it frightens the shorter Mexican. Also, rancheros think of Anglos as savage and unruly, basing their opinion solely on their encounters with the Rangers, who are trained and expected to be that way. Don Santiago also leaves the art of reasoning behind. He closes himself to any other opinions and suggestions from anyone, even the priest, who is the tie between God and humanity.
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