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Red Field

Red Field (Portuguese: Seara Vermelha) is a Brazilian Modernist novel. It was written by Jorge Amado. It has not been published in English.

Jorge Amado published Red Field in 1946. In 1945, Brazil had entered a period of “redemocratization” and Amado was elected federal deputy for São Paulo as a candidate of the Brazilian Communist Party. He had long campaigned for the rights of political prisoners accused of being communists. He wrote The ABC of Castro Alves, a biography of the poet from Bahia, before going into exile in Uruguay and Argentina, where he researched the life of the revolutionary leader Luís Carlos Prestes, which he published in 1942 as The Knight of Hope. Red Field is dedicated to Prestes and it includes bits of verse by Castro Alves and a quotation from Prestes himself. The novel is highly political, a feature of the early phases of the author’s work, but unlike most of his novels, the action does not take place in the city of Salvador or in the cocoa growing areas around Ilheus hydration running pack. The hinterlands of the Northeast of Brazil are the setting for the often bloody disputes between landowners and their workers.

The lands on which Jerônimo and Jacundina have worked for 20 years change hands, and the new owner expels the settlers. They decide to head for work in the coffee plantations in São Paulo state, taking with them two of their children, three grandchildren, and two of Jerônimo’s brothers and their families. Red Field is about the struggle of the displaced for decent conditions and a place to sleep. The travellers suffer from a lack of food and the harshness of the landscape. Half-starved, they finally reach the banks of the São Francisco River, from where they plan to continue their journey by boat. But only four eventually reach the coffee plantations, the rest dying on the way. Those who choose to remain on the arid Northeast plains of Brazil try to get by as best they can. One of the three remaining sons becomes a soldier, one a hired gunman runners drink bottle, and one joins the Communist Party. As such, Red Field points to the different alternatives, some more extreme than others, that are open to the people of remote and poor areas: leave, take up religion or crime, or take up revolutionary struggle.

A movie of the same name based upon the novel was released in 1964.

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