Juan Francisco Manzano’s autobiographical narrative is a coming of age story with twists and turns that occur throughout the text. Towards the end of his autobiography, the reader is presented straight-out with the brutality, dehumanization, and barbaric actions done by the slave owners. In a way there is a role reversal, not previously seen in other texts. The slave owners are more of the cannibals that are previously seen in Columbus’ text. The way they treat Manzano and his mother towards the end of the text, the reader realizes the brutality and animosity issued on all slaves. “[H]e raised his hand and struck my mother with his whip. I felt this blow to my heart” (14). Through this quote, the reader can point out the tone of Manzano. Its heartfelt, the sadness and pain that he endures throughout the latter portion of Manzano’s autobiography is an ongoing cycle in his later teen years. In other instances Manzano is locked in a cell, “I was locked up for twenty-four hours in a coal cellar without floorboards and nothing to cover myself” (7). Manzano is the innocent affected one in his life; the slave owners, on the other hand, are presented in a negative light, by all standards. Even Doña Beatriz de Justiz could also be compared to the slave owners for she is basically the “caregiver” and adopted mother of all slaves that she owns. There is this ironic sense that is presented in Manzano’s writing that allows the reader to question the reasons behind these brutish acts of hate and whether the acts of beating the slaves was caused by the caste system or caused by racial discrimination.

Bolívar and Turner both define their personal identities through the explanations of frontiers and borders in Spanish and British America, for example New Granada. Bolívar describes how their should be a union of smaller states that in turn would make up are larger nation in the end, such as how borders were being created in British America. In British America, borders were starting to form, edging their way westward. In the end both these intellectual men, described a physical border, but especially on Bolívar’s account there was an emotional, personal border that he had created. Both their idealistic visions of the Americas were creating an identity that would soon mold into what America is today. The borders define what each person believes and strongly defends. On Bolívar’s side, he set out his life for creating Spanish America’s identity to defend it from all harm that came from the Spanish. Bolívar states that “the idea of merging the entire New World into a single nation […] is both grandiose and impractical,” signifying that a border can only go so far as to define a group of individuals. Borders as mentioned in Bolívar’s text are created based on “remote climates, diverse geographies, conflicting interests, and dissimilar characteristics.” An identity, a frontier shifts through distance, it changes over time. Bolívar believes in a unification of people and races, but believes there should be boundaries that in the end will support and defend each other. This is what should be conventionally taken into account that these frontiers helped make up the greatness of the Americas.

Viscardo y Guzmán depicts his country with pride, but feels betrayed at the same time for he is labeled as an exile back home. While even being in the New World, they are not allowed to govern their own laws, they “are declared incapable of filling, even in [their] own country” (69). There is a love for his own country, but by being betrayed by his own blood he feels there should be no reconciliation. An oppressed higher class is influenced by the Spanish government. Those in the New World, like Viscardo y Guzmán, “have been made the victims of the pride, the injustice” and feel useless in their new home and environment (68). Through this victimization there is a contradiction in Viscardo y Guzmán’s argument. There is a contradiction in the fact that he epitomize Spain as “a glory and power superior to all” (65); on the other hand, he describes how this beautiful empire has cut “[them] off from the society to which [they] are connected by every tie” (65). The people that were “exiled” from Spain were denied their born identity and needed to adapt to make their own new identity somewhere else. By being exiled from Spain, Viscardo y Guzmán discusses that the “New World is [their] country; its history is [theirs]” (63). He associates himself with both worlds, but overall one rejects him of all causes. This new view may be seen as independence or it might also be seen as a victimization of a country that was looking to expand, but willing to get rid of its most prized people.

Next Page »