Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joaquin Murieta

I'm liking Joaquin Murieta so far. The style is completely different from Blithedale but I think it serves the content well. While it is loosely based upon a real person, telling the story in the form of a myth keeps it mysterious and exciting for me. I find myself reading many pages just to come across that little bit that may reveal to me what is happening inside the man behind the myth.

The circumstances that brought about the transformation of Joaquin are horrible. The fact that he endured this kind of treatment three times before he changed is amazing to me. I think it shows his strength of character and later, even though he has fully moved over into a life of crime, parts of this character still come out in how he treats certain people.

This book intrigues me. I've never read much about the west that was actually from this time period so I have to say most of my knowledge of it comes from western movies and the occasional history book. The picture painted is of the great rugged white cowboy taming the great frontier. This story about a bandit, reflecting the hopes and desires of a group of people that were a big part of what took place back then is very interesting so far.


  1. I like the idea that this book presents a counter-narrative, too, Jefferson. You're right to mention Murieta's patience: it's not mentioned often, but he repeatedly restrains himself when another man would have killed someone.

  2. I agree with you that the way the book was written worked really well to serve the novel's purpose. The play-by-play form made it very hard to figure out what kind of guy Joaquin was. It would have been really simple to write the book in Joaquin's perspective and to then justify his actions by showing the emotions and thoughts behind them. But the very dry, emotionless voice that it was written in made the reader catch the subtle clues that gave insight to the Chief bandits character.

    -Allie Reilly

  3. I really enjoy your description of the novel as more of a mythical story than a textual novel. How perfect! Today in class my group discussed the way the book was written and formed and how it lends to the style and actions of Joaquin. Furthermore, we attempted to answer, "How does the absence of chapter affect the reading process?" After reading this blog I would answer this question by saying the lack of chapter makes the story seem more mythical. The myth of Joaquin is much easier to digest and read than a novel of Joaquin. Awesome ideas Jefferson

  4. I can relate to wanting to find what is going through Joaquin's mind. It is hard for me to put the book down when I cant figure out what is driving Joaquin. The times when he stays true to some sense of morality force me to think whether he could leave this life behind and start fresh. Or whether he wil not be able to stop and it can only end with his demise. I think that he became a slave to his life style, and he could never have stopped living the thief's life.