Carlos  Fuentes
Symposium 2001
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Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, MA
Sara Davis
"The Works Of Carlos Fuentes: Truth and Hypocrisy About the Mexican Government"
"The 1968 Mexico City Olympics"


“There is no such thing as an abstract general human nature. Human nature is defined socially, economically, and historically." These few words spoken by Carlos Fuentes, a Mexican author, present an overview of the basic theme throughout his novels. He uses symbolic characters, places and objects to uncover the truth and reveal the hypocrisy in the Mexican government. In The Good Conscience, the past society represents the truth and the present society represents hypocrisy. In this book, Fuentes portrays the differences between people in the hypocritical society in the city of Guanajuato and the ancestors, the former residents, who followed tradition and the truth. Jaime, one character, is caught between hypocrisy and truth. His dreams about his ancestors represent the past, which is symbolic of the truth. In Aura, another novel, the character Felipe, represents the truth. On the other hand, Aura, like Jaime is caught between the truth made by Felipe and the hypocrisy of Senora Llorante. In a third novel, The Old Gringo, the mirrors of the hacienda and the characters Harriet and the Old Gringo, are symbolic of the past. Arroyo, on the other hand symbolizes current hypocrisy in Mexico.

Just as Carlos Fuentes criticized contemporary Mexican society, many observers criticized the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. The Mexico City Olympics were the most controversial in history. Environmental, racial, and political factors contributed to the controversy. The high altitude, the Black Boycott, and student riots presented many problems for Olympic organizers. In fact, the 1968 Olympics were called the “Unfair Games." Mexico had more difficulties than any other city that had hosted the Olympics. Although the 1968 Olympics proved controversial, critics recognized that they were successful.

Photo credit: http://carlos-fuentes.tripod.com/