Child of the Dark

Global impact

She wrote four additional books after Child of the Dark, which were published without success. She rose and fell from the public eye rapidly. This was probably because of her strong personality that kept her from getting along with a lot of people. But also the political panorama of Brazilian society would change drastically after the coup d'état, in 1964, leaving little room for social manifestation. She also dabbled in poems, short stories, and brief memoirs, none of which were ever published. In fact, her obituary in a 1977 edition of Jornal do Brasil comments about her blaming herself for not being able to take advantage of her brief celebrity status and that her stubbornness led her to die in poverty. We should rather consider how her story and descriptions provide insight to the Brazilian favela condition. For example, the events of Carolina's life can be seen as a sad story for one individual, or one can look beyond that and see the average Brazilian's view of society, family life, equality, poverty, and other aspects of daily existence.

Her book was read extensively both in capitalist areas such as Western Europe and the United States, as well as in socialist bloc countries, the Eastern bloc and Cuba, the wide range of audience suggesting how many people her story affected outside of Brazil. For the liberal and capitalist West, the book portrayed a cruel and corrupt system which had been reinforced by centuries of colonial ideals instilled on the people. In opposition, for the communist readers the stories depicted perfectly the fundamental flaws of the capitalist system where the worker is the most downtrodden part of the economic system.

As Brazilian historian Jose Carlos Sebe noted, "many foreign specialists in Brazil year after year used her translated diary in their classes",[14] which indicates her important role worldwide in providing one of the only primary direct factual accounts of what was going on in these favelas. Author Robert M. Levine describes how, "Carolina's words brought alive a slice of Latin American reality rarely acknowledged in traditional textbooks."[15]


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