THE DISOBEDIENT SON by Francois Clement


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A good novel dealing with the plight of the Indian population in modern Mexico, the title is taken from a folk song that emphasizes the feeling among these people that what will come- will come- and the best one can do is face it like a man. In spite of this underlying refrain, the story is neither heavy nor depressing. When he is 15, Juan sells some figurines he finds in a cave to an archaeologist. Tragedy results- and he runs away from his isolated mountain village and finds his way to Veracruz and a number of years later to Mexico City. During this time some knowledge of the senores' ways have been added to the primitive Indian traditions of his childhood, and when he returns to his village at 21, he is a leader in a fight again the senores to retain the Indians' land. Eventually he becomes a comparatively progressive mayor of the village, though a tyrant as well. And when he dies, in front of a firing squad, he realizes that only through education can the Indian obtain justice.... The growth of Juan, from a member of a primitive society to some understanding of the encroaching, modern world, and from a child to a mature man of some wisdom is very well done. There is a great awareness of the powerful forces of both societies to which he is exposed.

Publisher: Little, Brown