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Posted on April 12th, 2014, by

First of all, it is necessary to mention that Chica da Silva (or Francisca da Silva de Oliveira) was a real Brazilian woman who gained her popularity for becoming powerful and rich having been born into slavery. The life of this woman became a source of inspiration for many different works in literature and television, films and theater. Moreover, Chica da Silva is also known as the ordinary slave who became a real queen.

In such a way, the book written by Júnia Ferreira Furtado has a real personality in its base. It can be said that the general topic of the book is to describe the life of Chica da Silva, to show the ways how this woman struggles against all difficulties on her way, and the ways how she overcomes all hardships given to her by destiny. It can be also noted that the main heroine of the book is presented as a symbol of the early feminism, and the author accurately demonstrated all the stages of Chicas way to a high social standing. Being more specific, we can state that Chicas way to prosperity was hard because Chica da Silva was born in slavery; moreover, she was born from a slave and a white master. This fact allows to state that the girl was forced to overcome a big variety of existing social and legal barriers on her way to success. It becomes understandable without saying that Chica da Silva had no choice except of becoming a concubine of her masters and to continue these extramarital relationships by the own consent, but it was normal situation in those times and Chica used it for the own purposes. In addition, according to author’s remarks, many women became concubines in the described period of time, but only Chica was strong enough to change existing order of her life and to make everything possible not only to change the own story, but also to inspire others on social changes.

Making a critical assessment of the book, it is possible to state that freedwomen faced a lot of limitation in their pursuit of inclusion within the white mining society in the 18th century. Furtado provided readers with many facts from the main heroine’s life, and also gave Chicas detailed biographical information in the context of the book for the purpose to prove that every woman has a chance to achieve success in any conditions. The form in which the book was written is not as ordinary as it may seem for the first glance because all the described events awakens a storm of emotions in readers’ minds basing on the way how the author conveys all morale and socio-cultural standards and norms that were considered to be normal in the colonial society. Chica da Silva is described as a woman who had enough courage and internal power to rise against all existing racial, social and gender biases. Thus, it is even impossible to overestimate Chicas contribution to the development of the eighteenth-century Brazilian society because a person creates history and the author of the book demonstrated how this process occurs in practice.

In conclusion, we have discussed the book Chica da Silva by J.F. Furtado and made its critical assessment.

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