Sab. March 3, 2008. SAB. Written by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellandeda y Arteaga Published 1841 in Spain; banned in Cuba until 1914. CHARACTERS. Sab’s Mother. Don Luis. Don Carlos. Martina. Sab. Carlota. Teresa. Luis. Enrique Otway. George Otway. CHARACTERS. Sab
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March 3, 2008
“His coloring was of a yellowish white with a certain dark undertone, his broad forehead was half-hidden under irregular locks of hair as lustrous and black as the wings of the raven; his nose was aqualine, but his thick, purplish lips revealed his African heritage.” (28)
“Her beautiful, pure brow rested in one of her hands as she supported her arm on the windowsill; her parted chestnut hair cascaded in a multitude of ringlets which framed a seventeen-year-old face…The ideal nature of her lovely figure was enhanced by a dress of purest white.” (35)
“Still young, yet lacking the charms of youth, Teresa had one of those ordinary faces that, while not repugnant, were in no way attractive either. After a close look at her, no one would call her ugly; however, on seeing her for the first time, no one would think her beautiful, for her face was so devoid of expression that it might just as well inspire hate as love.” (35)
Part I, Chapter 6
Part II, Chapter 2
Word to the Reader
“‘You are free,’ she repeated, glancing at him in surprise, as though she wished to read in his face the cause of an emotion which she could not attribute to the pleasure of the freedom long offered and many times withdrawn. But Sab had himself under control; his look was sad and calm and his appearance serious and melancholy.” (140)
“I cannot love another woman as much as you, and none willmake me so happy as you would have, but destiny separates us. Ineed to be rich, and you cannot make me rich, Carlota.” (116)
“What use is talent and education to a man destined to be a slave?” (45)“Don’t all have the same needs, the same passions, the same flaws? Why,then, do some have the right to enslave and others the duty to obey?” (140)
“I knew nothing of love except what I had gathered from the novels I read, and I convinced myself that naturally I was madly in love with my intended. As I had little contact with him and knew him hardly at all, I could freely choose the character I most wanted him to have.” (Autobiography, 4)
“Teresa had indeed reached that calm and grave happiness which virtue bestows.Her proud, strong spirit had mastered her destiny, and her feelings and elevated, firm,and decided character had allowed her to reach that noble resignation which is asdifficult for passionate souls as it is for those of weak character.” (135)
“Doubtless Heaven heard his entreaties and God sent him a merciful glance, for at that instant the unhappy man felt his entire body falter, and the coldness of death froze his heart.” (119)
“Don’t hate your husband, Carlota: he is just like the majority of men, and thereare many worse!...It is useful to know what they are and not to ask more of themthan they can give; it is useful to relinquish those dreams that perhaps nolonger exist except in the heart of a daughter of Cuba.” (138)
“Love him!” repeated Carlota, “Him, a slave!” (130)
Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Getrudis. Sab and Autobiography. Trans. Nina M. Scott. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993.
Images of Cuba licensed under Creative Commons: 1, 2, 3, 4 (2008).