O ressentimento racial brasileiro e a identidade marginal a partir da “História de Inferninho” em Cidade de Deus, de Paulo Lins

Vanessa Fitzgibbon


Ten years after the release of Paulo Lins’ novel, this paper proposes a close analysis of its first part, examining the historical and social influences that contributed to the increase of explicit violence stamped throughout the book and later portrayed in the homonymous film. As the story reveals, Inferninho’s violence is triggered by the discrimination and prejudice he experienced throughout his youth. Far from the Augustinian paradise that the name may suggest, the Brazilian City of God became the genesis of past and present social injustices, including racial resentment. The first part of the book suggests that the social bandit, aggravated by the many masks of discrimination suffered throughout centuries of Brazilian history, evolved into today’s drug dealer. Through the social transgression exposed by an intrusive narrator, one can also identify the urgent need of opening Brazilian culture and society to a wider dialogue between the canonic literature and the many voices of what has been considered the marginal literature.


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