The ballad of gregorio cortez
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The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Based on the Americo Paredes classic book, With his pistol in his hand.. An anthropological and cultural study of the corrido and the significance of corridos in the culture and perspective of southern Texas. Gregorio Cortez, cont.,.

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The ballad of gregorio cortez l.jpg

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

Based on the Americo Paredes classic book, With his pistol in his hand.. An anthropological and cultural study of the corrido and the significance of corridos in the culture and perspective of southern Texas.


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Gregorio Cortez, cont.,

  • Gregorio Cortez is accused of a murder of a Sheriff in 1901 Gonzalez, Texas.

  • A massive chase ensues involving over 600 men on train and horseback.

  • The chase lasts around two weeks

  • Cortez is eventually captured and put on trial.

  • The case generated a good deal of regional and national publicity and polarized the Mexican and Anglo communities.


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Fregoso’s Analysis—Cortez as the ”mute silent other”

  • Narrative discourse dominated by Sheriff, attorneys, reporter,and Texas Rangers,-- non-Mexicans.

  • Cortez rarely speaks—only occasionally and sometimes to his horse.

  • Cortez as object, not subject—the objectification of Cortes.


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Cortez as the “noble savage”

  • Cortez is depersonalized, admirable in his ability to elude capture, sacrificing, moral.

  • Cortez embodies an “animal-like closeness to nature.” His ability to outwit the posse, ability to survive alone in the wilderness, canny and resourceful.


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Fregoso—Corridos as…

  • Symbolic forms of cultural and political resistance.

  • Social and artistic protest by Chicanos

  • Counter vocal (an alternate voice)

  • Counter historical (an alternate consideration of historical fact-Mexican community as agents of their own destiny)

  • Counter hegemonic (challenge political authority)


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Fregoso-corridos as…

  • Counter linguistic (non-English)

  • Authentic expressions (vs. the inauthentic) of the Mexican-Chicano experience

  • Cortez as heroic-symbol of resistance.

  • Representative of Mexican sympathy toward Cortez.


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Fregoso—”privileges bilingualism”

  • From the view of the audience and during the event.

  • Five pivotal scenes:

    • The original confrontation—the shooting

    • The cantina

    • The fundraiser

    • The translation in jail-Carlota Munoz

    • The train depot.


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