Literature and Social Justice: Persuasion in Machado de Assis, Lu Xun, and Virgilio Piñera Open Access

Kotha, Saisindhu (2015)

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Social change movements, inspired by a desire to represent a certain perceived injustice, tend to deviate from the status quo, general convention, or majority rule and involve an individual or group of individuals who are dissatisfied with current conditions. This dissatisfaction drives people united by a common situation, or the experience of a perceived or real threat, to band together. From there, others join in order to advance some kind of change. Although people join in common struggle out of a concrete and very real sense of injustice, a broad popular movement can only be created by means of persuasion. This project focuses on persuasion of the written word. Specifically, persuasion in literature orients the reader in a way that allows him or her to see social injustice with his or her own eyes. Education of the social injustices in one's environment is the first step in moving towards social justice. This thesis analyzes how this education takes place through the context, time, and place of The Alienist, A Madman's Diary, and three selected short stories from Cold Tales.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Machado de Assis: The Alienist's Persuasion 13

Chapter 2: Lu Xun: The Madman's Persuasion 32

Chapter 3: Virgilio Piñera: The Absurdist's Persuasion 54

Final Words 70

Works Cited 74

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