Ariel and the Arielismo in Spanish-American literature

Arielismo is a term that refers to the speculative standard of the Hispanic American ideology. The term has its origin from the work of José Enrique Rodo entitled Ariel whose publication was in the year 1900.  The work titled Ariel is a masterpiece that propagates a consolidative perspective of the Greco-Roman culture, the current perspectives of the late nineteenth century as well as the Judeo-Christian custom (Young et al.).  The ideology has been utilized in establishing juxtaposition between a high-end intellectual endeavor and a high custom being on one side and on the opposite side having a direct approach to the problems the Latin Americans faced. The ideology has been termed by the critics who embrace a practical approach as an educational provocation and at the same time as a cultural epitome. However, the question that is yet unanswered is that of those who advocate for it not addressing the economic, social, and political necessitates of the people of Latin America (de Azúa &Carlos).

Arielismo main feature was the opposition of the Anglo-Saxon utilitarianism. The term gives a representation of the political and aesthetic standoff devised by Jose Enrique Rodo as indicated in the essay he wrote in 1900.  The essay was well received by the masses as it addressed the identity of Latin America (Young et al.). The title Ariel is borrowed from the wars of Shakespeare whose spiritual character who stood for the spiritual standoff of the Latin America as opposed to the ideologies of positivism and the continuing influence of the economy of North America.

The effect that Ariel had was so immense that it resulted in the birth of the Americanist ideas movement. This movement ride under the catch-all name as Arielismo. it is sometimes regarded as an aerialism. The Americanist ideas movement was the mark of the end of Spanish positivist supremacy (Young). Despite the fact that the group has faded in the present day, its influence during its conception was one to reckon.  The idea of realism can be regarded as vague both in its ideological perspective and its chronological demarcations. Those critics who were pro-aerialism were characterized by a Gallic sense of direction and bared a cautionary criticism approach.  The evolutionary theory greatly embraced arielismo rather than Ariel. This field was used to tackle issues that deal with the racial diversity.  arielisom was also characterized by a reactionary and conservative tone.

The arielismo is a representation of the vision embodied in the Latin American culture and served to be figure f nobility as well as spiritual superiority rather than the United States culture just to express the materialistic rudeness a sensualism.  According to Rodo, his idea f Arielismo suggested that those who were the minority and constituted the best of a population were charged with the responsibility of guiding the society based on a disinterested ideal. This approach resulted in a great sense of unity of Latin America. Rodo borrowed his symbolic idea from the works of William Shakespeare. Since the conception of Ariel in 1898 and later on its publication in 1900, it has been treated as a classical book because it gave the outline of the program that describes the Latin America culture of the current times.

Prior to the expansion of the  United States, and the exemplification of the pragmatic and materialistic virtues, its author specified that Latin America was supposed to come up with its unique spiritual values  which were to be termed as “the genius of its race”, since it gave a projection of the symbolism of crass US utilitarianism.  According to Rodo, the spirituality that has been attached t Ariel was deviant of the culture of North America.  The spirituality rather was rooted in the Greco-Roman concepts of beauty as well as the Christian virtues such as a charity that was mandatory for forming a strong societal fabric rather than sensualist. However, this given society had one requirement in that it was supposed to adhere to the doctrines of democracy to give a chance to the minority best to exercise leadership skills. The result would be a culture that is superior. On the other hand, any society that bases its practices on the material values is considered as a mediocre society.  To avert this, the best has to be given the chance of guiding the society (Mora Rodríguez).  According to Rodo, he had come up with a solution to the economic-political hiccups that constituted Latin America.  The ideologies brought forward by Rodo were opposite to those claimed by Renan.

After the Ariel, any opposite and negative use of the work is what is referred to as arielismo which is a saturating offset that constitute the morals of Latin America as well as the spiritual superiority while putting aside the current trends of modern advancements and thus casting all the blames towards united states of America for the problems that Latin America is facing. What is well remembered for the Ariel is the excessive utilization of the words such as aerialists or rodoniano. Majority of the members of the public make use of the phrases of Rodo when trying to make a point including residents and professors.

Rodo became a representative figure of the Latin America culture in which Ariel gained both as a symbol and statement regarding strength. He thus represented the values of Latin cultures. The things that stood out in the work of Rodo include the formative influence that greatly impacted the youth and the role he played as a representative and spokesman of the culture of Latin America.

The interpretation of Ariel will base on the Latin Spanish-American war.  The total publication between the years 1914 and 1915 was thirteen in total regarding the war (Mora Rodríguez). In the year 1914, arielismo which was considered as the guardian of the identity of Latin America was used as the apology for the values of Latin America that were assumed that was being attacked by the German menace. Arielismo was thus treated to be a justification of the cultural values of Latin America and used t commune with the allies under the leadership of France.  Rodo thus gave a representation of France as the incarnation of the Latin genius and at the same time stated the French values which consisted of the custom of liberty, Latinity and knowledgeable coaching (Mora Rodríguez). The Germans thus requested for wider coverage by the press and doubted the coverage done by the Uruguayan press. Arielismo thus represented the culture of Latin America and was used by during the war as a defense of the Latin American culture.





De Azúa, Carlos Real. Medio siglo de Ariel:(su significación y trascendencia literario-filosófica). Academia Nacional de Letras, 2001.

Mora Rodríguez, Arnoldo. “The Arielismo: from Rodó to García Monge.” San José: euned (2007).

Young, Richard, and Odile Cisneros. Historical dictionary of Latin American literature and theater. Vol. 45. Scarecrow Press, 2010.

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