Art, whether it be paintings, film, or even poetry, can serve as a crucial form of propaganda, swaying public opinion. In the novel El cartero de Neruda by Antonio Skármeta, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, aside from his literary accomplishments, establishes a reputation in politics. The communist writer held a variety of political positions and late in his career began incorporating his ideology into his poems. The story takes place during the election of Salvador Allende during the 1970s, during which Neruda worked for his political campaign. Here, Skármeta presents both lives of the poet, arguing that in spite of Neruda’s beliefs, the fame brought to him by his art has distanced him too much from the proletariat class, making him a poor representative of communist Chile. I will be examining essential moments in Skármeta’s piece to analyze how the two lives of Neruda create a dualistic image of the character.
Annie Broutman, ’16
Highland Park, IL
Sponsor: Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour