”Child of the Dark” by Carolina Maria De Jesus
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Poverty is like a diseases that should never be wished on anyone, and in the book, CHILD OF THE DARK, by Carolina Maria De Jesus, the favelados were living an abominable life, and Carolina does a good job of capturing this horrifying lifestyles in her daily diary. Carolina’s diary was a daily account of the life she put up with from the mid-1950s till the late-1950s in a favela in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where she and her children, without a spouse, lived in an unhealthy shack. They spent their days and nights fighting to survive from the wrath of poverty and hunger, while also putting up with the unruly act of their neighbors. Carolina and her children were often been criticized on by the wealthier class because of the dirty clothes they wore and poor predicaments. Carolina worked very hard to keep her children off the streets, and she did without any help from neither the government nor any individual. It wasn’t until the near ends that the father of Vera, her daughter, started helping with a few cruzeiros that barely went a long way.
The favela which Carolina often referred to as the dumpster or the garbage dump was a very filthy place with no living space, all the shacks where built right on top of each other or sharing a single wall. They were built with cardboard, aluminium, tins and wood scraps, and these materials are easy entry for bad weather, especially rain. The living conditions were really uncomfortable as people could just break into shacks and steal whatever they find. Also noise was a major disturbance as everything being said and done was overheard by the near neighbor.
Carolina struggled every day to feed her children and also put clothes on them. She spent every day collecting and picking up paper, metal scraps and other luxury trash and selling them for a few cruzeiros that only brought happiness for a night or two. Even when she gets verbally abused or taunt by white males or other people while she’s searching for trash, she holds up and does not let such behavior affect her. She often had other favelados who came by to start a fight or beat her children.
The favela was a place for crime and criminal acts. The crime in the favela was really high, along with the diseases, fornications and alcohol abuse. Every day there was either a stabbing or death on every street. There were so many fights that it didn’t amuse Carolina anytime there was a dispute going on anymore. The children of the favela got used to the fight and seeing naked women who often ran out from the wrath of their husbands to avoid beatings. People often died and the people just mourned the dead by getting drunk, partying and fighting.
Through all these negative living circumstances, Carolina Maria De Jesus still always found a way to keep her children away from negativities and on the right part. She still kept up and never gave up on her condition. She kept writing knowing that one day it’ll favor her. In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we should never give up, no condition is permanent. We need to do different things to come out with different outcomes, at the end of it all, there is always a light at the end of every tunnel.