Zorro by Isabel Allende

By: Alexa, Madelyn, and Timmy

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When & Where

1790-1840. California and Spain (mostly Barcelona).

During the time of the French Revolution.

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Social Context

  • Indian discrimination- Regina is looked down upon when she acts like her Indian ancestors. She is expected to act like a "respectable Spanish lady".
  • Caste system in the colonies: Bottom- Indians, Middle- mestiza, Top- Spanish Pure-bloods.
  • Gypsies are thought to be ruthless thieves, but this is shown to be false when Bernardo and Diego befriend Amelia and then her family group.

Political Context

  • France is taking over Spain. The monarchy has been disbanded and Napoleon's brother is in charge of Spain. Tomás de Romeu, the man whose house Diego is staying at, likes the French but everyone else in Barcelona does not.
  • The Inquisition is revived. They are arresting and killing anyone that is "against the government" and/or the church. Diego is fighting against this.
  • After the French influence is pushed out of Spain, Ferdinand VII becomes the monarch.
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Modern Context


  • Warfare and lawlessness of Spain (guerrilla warfare) = middle east
  • "Christians, Moors, and Jews all maintained that their God was the only true God, and held other religions in contempt" (105). Religions belief this still and people are looked down upon if they do not have the same beliefs.

Significance to Peers


  • It's a coming of age story. Diego questions everything that his parents have taught him. "At times Diego had questioned the rigid precepts hammered into his brain since his birth, but he had never dared challenge them aloud" (104).
  • Diego's strong friendship with Bernardo
  • Diego's undying love for Juliana

Literary Value


  • Allende sometimes breaks narration and writes like she knows that she is actively writing the book. Ex. "A good thing, too, because otherwise I would not be telling this story" (99). This is like in the "Princess Bride" when the story stops and you are shown the grandpa reading the book to his grandson.
  • The Odyssey- Both of the works end where the hero began and they are changed because of the adventures he went through

60 Second Recap

60 second recap

Review Links

Other Books like this

  • The Mixquiahuala Letters by Ana Castillo
  • The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley
  • Isle of Passion by Laura Restrepo
  • The Inhabited Woman by Gioconda Belli