Liquid Gold: The Representations of Money and Slavery in Alencar’s <i>Senhora</i>

  • André Cardoso Universidade Federal Fluminense
Keywords: realism, sentimental novels, sensibility, transparency, sympathy, market relations


 The plot of José de Alencar’s Senhora has often been accused by critics of being artificial and little relevant to the actual conditions of nineteenth-century Brazilian society. A close analysis of this novel, however, reveals that it does address issues that were pertinent to Brazilian social life in that period, such as slavery and the circulation of money. The representation of these issues is far from stable in this novel, as its imitation of the realist plot from Balzac might suggest, and the examination of sentimental elements in Senhora may point to alternative readings of the appropriation of this model and the way money and slavery are presented in this narrative.