The Struggle In I, Juan De Pareja

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I, Juan De Pareja
Leela Ramey A boy named “Juan,” has been a slave ever since he was a child. He is from African descent, but now lives in Spain with his mother. Early in the book, his mother soon dies, leaving Juan all by himself, since his father was not there to support him. Right now, he is owned by a wealthy Madrid women, due to the death of Juan’s mother. This does not last long, because soon she dies too from the plague. Juan has been lucky so far, because his masters were more generous than most. After the Mistress dies, Juan is taken in by a generous monk Brother Isidro, but is forced to leave with the horrible Gypsy man, Carmelo, who physically abuses Juan, including starvation and whipping. When Juan finally arrives to Diego, he
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Many of the slaves were beaten daily, they were not educated and taken well care of, but Juan had many of the more generous owners who rarely beat him. They had educated Juan also, including writing, reading, and painting. He was well fed most of the time, and even was considered a valued member of the Velazquez family. Overall Juan was a more lucky than some of the slaves that had worked for someone like Carmelo, who would beat Juan and starve Juan during the trip to Don Diego Velazquez.
This book took place during the Renaissance. The renaissance were considered to be the cultural rebirth of Europe. The many arts of life were important including, painting and literature. This really shows in the book because it is very focused on painting and art. Juan expresses many times that painting is interesting to him, but never was supposed to do it, due to slavery.
In the end, Juan was a slave who eventually became a free man who loved to paint. He has had struggles and successes and even luck that had lead to him being a free man, which most slaves did not ever experience one moment of freedom. The book also shows many of the aspects of a renaissance life for a slave and how important painting was to these
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