Brazil is the largest country in South America and it has the strongest economy in Latin America. The country has the seventh largest economy in the world by nominal GDP. Brazil is rich in natural resources and it focus on agriculture and industrial power. Despite the improvement on income distribution and bringing the middle class population to 95 million people which is a little bit more than half of the population in the country, poverty in rural areas are still very severe in Brazil. According to Rural Poverty Portal, "In the country as a whole, about 35 percent of the population lives in poverty, on less than two dollars a day." (1) The population in Brazil is about 197 million and with 35 percent of population living in poverty is equal to two times the population in Canada. Most of the poverties in Brazil are concentrated in the North East region of Brazil and it can be considered the single largest concentration of rural poverty in South America. The North East region in Brazil is the undeveloped part of the country where the population have no access to education, health care, technology and even clean water. Several causes of poverty in Brazil are land tenure, lack of access to a good education and also skill training. Through the literary short stories and Brazilian made films, we can somehow picture how different is the life between the lower and higher class families. The inequality is a very big issue in the country and even though the stories and films are fiction, it still shows us a reality that Brazil has been facing for a long period, which is the big gap between the rich and the poor. One of the films that shows the poverty in the rural areas of Brazil is "Behind the Sun", directed by Walter Salles. We can see how the violence is a very big problem in the story because of a land dispute between a family and neighbour. According to Scielo, "It is customary to state that the poorer strata of the population are more violent and that they cause the social disorder and disturbances that assail the country." ( Minayo, 1) It is true that the lower class would be more involved in violence since they are tired of working so hard and not getting anywhere, and it affects them emotionally. Furthermore, the film starts with a background of very dark orange which may represent the very hot weather in Brazil and it makes the viewers to somehow feel the tiredness, the hard working people in rural areas in Brazil. The film begins with a very depressing color which almost represents "hopelessness". The scene that most caught my attention and I think it was very meaningful to the viewers is when the oxes start to turning in circle over and over again. It brings a significant message of no matter how hard the people work in rural areas; they will always be in the same routine and will never be able to have the chance to succeed in life. Moreover, as we could see, one of the main characters, Pacu, a very simple and humble boy, speaks a Portuguese with several grammatical errors such as "mais melhor" and "eles que tava perdido". Illiteracy is another big problem in Brazil, especially with the lower class population, who live in the rural areas. Lower class people that live in the interior do not value education as much as people from higher classes. Sometimes it is because they are so focused on working to support their family that they do not have time to think about educating their children. Other times, they do not even have money to buy food, so how are they going to support their children to go school? Many children who are born in lower class families do not have the opportunity to be educated, not because they do not want; however, it is because their parents cannot afford and they are incapable of sending them to school. There are approximately 14 million people that are illiterate in Brazil; which means that they cannot read and write. Fortunately, in 2003, Brazil launched the "Bolsa Familia", where the...
Cited: Forero, Juan. The Guardian. 29 01 2013. 03 04 2013 .
General information on Brazil . 02 04 2013 .
Govan, Fiona. The Telegraph. 04 01 2012. 02 04 2013 .
Poverty. 01 04 2013 .
Rural poverty in Brazil. 04 04 2013 .
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