ENG-355 | Latin American Literature: Realism and Magical Realism

Theme: Socio-economics – ‘The City that Lives While We Dream’


63388352 - new york skyline illuminated at dusk, us
New York City

Copyright: vladone / 123RF Stock Photo

This theme of understanding socio-economics, focuses on the social science that represents understanding the progression of society. Chiefly, socio-economics involves analyzing the decline in development or noticing regression. For example, Paz continues to create line after line about the conditions of the city: “I speak of the paralytic slum, the cracked wall, the dry fountain, the graffitied statue, I speak of garbage heaps…” (“I Speak of the City,” Paz, Octavio).

Reading this certain creative piece of poetry took some time; however, the majority of the content elaborated upon the conditions of a city. Take this theme in as an exhibition of a logos-based theme. The majority of the writings does attempt to find the emotional side of the audience. Conversely, the facts remain with the literal conditions of a city. On the other hand, Garcia-Marquez has too many writings that effectively explore the avenues of pathos and ethos to overlook, as well.

Socio-economics: Ethics and Politics

Another aspect of socioeconomics deals with the relationships between social behavior and economics by examining norms, ethics, and frank, social philosophies (i.e., history, politics, and a number of other social sciences) (“Social Economics,” n.d.). “…the timid voices with which the desolate talk to saints and virgins in  a passionate, failing language” lines 59-60 (“I Speak of the City,” Paz, Octavio)

Young Girl

“The senator sat down on an army cot, talking about roses as he unbuttoned his shirt…” Thereafter, Garcia-Marquez shares this story by elaborating about a young girl who blocks his sexual innuendo with a device.” Conversely, the senators attitude (before) resembled as a person “who wasn’t used to sudden love affairs.” As the story goes on… ” The senator caressed her slowly … he came across something iron that was in the way. “What have you got there?” “A padlock, ” she said. Then, she replies with comments from her papa to make him remember the situations at hand. Frankly, this particular short story, by Garcia-Marquez, carries the theme of politics. As a whole, politics is masculine and as previously stated this particular field can deal with history and a number of ethical matters.

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Video: Socioeconomics – “Wealth in America”

Courtesy of politizane


Teacher’s Instruction

  1. Explain to the class about the different characteristics of socioeconomics (i.e., norms, ethics, social philosophies).
  2. Explain how history and politics play an important role in Latin-American movements

Student Assignment

  1. To understand better, attempt to compare this description of a city to the developments in New York City. How have the districts of New York City (e.g., Manhattan) experienced gains and losses, due to historical changes in demographics and industry?

Works Cite

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. “Death Constant Beyond Love.” Trans. Gregory Rabassa.

        The Norton

Anthology of World Literature. Ed. Michael Puchner. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton,

2014. 1653-58.

“Paz, Octavio. I Speak to the City.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed.

Michael Puchner. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. 1429-1433

Social Economics (n.d.). Retrieved from www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-



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