The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom - Introduction and Part One, The Names of the Flowers, 1850-51 Summary & Analysis

Margarita Engle
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Introduction and Part One, The Names of the Flowers, 1850-51 Summary

"The Surrender Tree" is a book of poems that tell the story of Cuba's quest for freedom. Each part of the book tells of a period of time in which the Cubans are frequently at war with the Spanish. The book ends with peace but now with new ownership of Cuba; the Americans now control this troubled island nation.

In the introduction, the author describes October 10, 1868, the day the Cuban plantation owners freed their slaves and declared independence from Spain. War was a part of daily life for the next several decades. On February 16, 1896, Cuban peasants were forced into reconcentration camps or, if found still in the countryside after eight days, killed. Two of the refugees were the author's great-grandparents.

In Part One, The Names...

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This section contains 1,134 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom Study Guide
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