The role of the victim in the plays of Florencio Sánchez
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Florencio Sánchez was the first major playwright in Uruguay to treat themes relevant to his times and region. His prime concern was the portrayal of social-moral conflict in his society. His plays are divided into two main groups, those involved with rural life and those dealing with conflict in an urban setting. The urban plays expose the conflict seen in both poor and middle-class families and the rural ones expose the destruction of the family unit as old landowners are dispossessed of their land by unscrupulous speculators. This essay argues that although Sánchez’s main concern was to denounce corruption in society and to expose the victimisation of the weak, he enriches the dramatic texture of his plays by making the victims active participants. The victim is always able to articulate his or her dilemma and is given a choice of action, even if this choice is one between two evils. Frequently the survival of the family is pitched against the survival or wellbeing of the individual. Three plays have been chosen, two urban plays, En familia and La pobre gente and one rural play, Barraca abajo. The final conclusion has to be that the greed and corruption in the system are indeed destroying family unity, but that there is strength and energy found among those victimised which in some way contributes to the effect of victimisation. In the end, the choice is made by the victim.