Bel Canto Historical Analysis Essay

719 Words Apr 5th, 2013 3 Pages
Historical Analysis
In Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, the setting is reflected off of the Lima Crisis, otherwise known as the Japanese embassy hostage crisis, which began on December 17, 1996. Bel Canto is a story on the events that happen in the house of a South American country’s vice president. It portrays the relationships of the characters and their feelings toward one another as well as explains the hostage situation. In the Japanese embassy hostage crisis, similar events took place, such as the actual overtake of a mansion which contained high-ranking military officials and others of a high social standing. Both settings deal with the releasing of hostages in exchange for demands that were never met, which led to the resolution of both
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In Bel Canto, the rebels have demands as well:
'The terrorists having no chance to get what they came for, decided to take something else instead, something they never in their lives knew they wanted until they crouched in the low, dark shaft of the air-conditioning vents: opera. They decided to take that very thing for which Mr. Hosakawa lived.'(71).
Both terrorists wanted demands out of their seizures of the mansions. In both Bel Canto and in the Japanese crisis, a Red Cross official was the ‘negotiator.’ He attempted to setup a barter system to which the terrorists would get supplies so long as they give hostages back in return. In the Japanese crisis, Luis Cipriani had worked on getting a deal that would allow the terrorists to be let go into Cuba as exiles. This negotiation failed, as did some of the consultations from Bel Canto. Messner, the negotiator, attempts to make several negotiations with the terrorists, throughout the novel. Although both mediators do try to work the situations out with the rebels, they are not able to meet the standards of the negotiations. In the end of both Bel Canto and the Japanese embassy hostage crisis, the terrorists were killed. They were not done in the same fashion, although the hostages were saved. In Bel Canto, the terrorists allow the hostages to be outside, and one day while they are together, a group of government troops come and shoot all the insurgents,

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