The Squatter And The Don Essay Research

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The Squatter And The Don Essay, Research Paper The novel begins with William Darrell explaining to his wife what makes him a settler and not a squatter, in his eyes, as an American citizen. From there Darrell heads to Southern California to acquire lands to settle , build a homestead, and bring his family down south with him. His wife makes him promise not to settle on lands belonging to others and that if he does, pay the rightful owner of that land. Don Mariano Alamar was the man on whose land Mr. Darrell had squatted, along with several other American settlers. About this time people were investing heavily in city blocks expecting a huge payoff when the Texas Pacific Railroad was punched through to San Diego. Mr. Darrell s son Clarence had fallen for Don Alamar s daughter,

Mercedes, which began the love story in the novel. Mercita s mother was objectional to this since Clarence was of a squatters family, so she sent Mercedes to New York to avoid Clarence. One problem- Clarence sought the Don s permission to follow her to New York, in which he did. Corruption in the government was a revolving door regarding Don Alamar s land title. The Attorney General had dismissed the squatters appeal on Alamar s land, only to have a subordinate attorney overturn the appeal so that it would remain in litigation longer. That soon came to an end as the Don s title was proven valid by the Attorney General again. The squatters didn t move off of the Alamar land with the news that the title was valid, but did step up their killing of the Don s cattle. The other

squatters had influenced Mr. Darrell to confront Don Mariano which led to a sickening rift between not only the Don and Darrell, but between Darrell and Clarence, as well as tearing Mercedes and Clarence apart. Clarence then left and traveled around the US, Mexico, South America, and Europe. The failure of the Texas Pacific Railroad to come to San Diego broke Don Mariano economically and mentally. Don Mariano died of a heart not filled by expectations and a heart trampled on by the US government. Clarence returned to California and married Mercedes and offered to buy the Alamar ranch for a huge sum to lift the burden of the costs off of Dona Josefa s back. The Alamar family then moved and settled in San Francisco. History has been taught to us in our up bringing as the told

through the voices of wealthy white males. They in turn have created history books full of admiration towards the dominant white race, as the saviors of all beings, the reason we are what we are today. There is no mention of how the white capitalistic elitists used the backs of the minorities as a stepping stone to better their positions in society. This is where Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton steps in to tell a story that a society governed by race and class wouldn t necessarily be exposed to. As a woman born from Mexican-bloodlines, Ruiz de Burton embodies everything about being apart of the previously mentioned minority that was used as a stepping stone. Being a minority allowed her to witness firsthand the atrocities that began to happen to the native Californios after the

signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago. The imperialistic dominant white culture was in no position to see what exactly they were doing to the natives, other than sugar-coating their conquering and settlement to the world. Ruiz de Burton was able to write a novel that, without bashing the white population, was a thorough explanation of what happened, as seen through the eyes of her people. It s as close to the real thing as we ll ever get. It s a voice that would have never been related to such a widespread audience if hadn t been written down. Perhaps this may have been a motivating factor in getting her work published. She told the story as a straight forward, matter-of-fact chronicle of events. The Squatter and the Don was written to appeal to a wide audience of people, no