The writer Miguel Delibes is one of those who has best portrayed rural Spain in the mid-20th century. A Spain often oblivious to progress and anchored in ancestral traditions. One of the most splendid examples of this is his novelLos Santos Inocentes, published in 1981, although his narration centered some 20 years earlier on a farmhouse in the region of Extremadura
The protagonists are a poor family of peasants who live almost in a feudal regime for one of the landowners in the area. It tells us about the struggle of the two parents who want their children to study so they can get out of there. Something that they cannot do, since they have no training and they must also take care of their Niña Chica, a little girl with physical and mental deficiencies. And as if that were not enough, Azarias also lives with them, the brother of Regula, the mother, who is a true innocent, since despite his age, his behavior is that of a big child who has not grown mentally.
Azarias has as a pet and confidant a bird, a jackdaw, which he calls Kite pretty. But one fine day the chief owner of the farm shoots the bird dead, and obviously that will be the trigger for all the drama.
And although the story he narrates is very attractive, in reality it is an excuse to recount the thousand and one abuses that existed in the Spanish countryside, wherethetycoons and landowners of enormous extensions acted with their employees almost as if they were serfs. In short, the great theme of the work is dehumanization and social injustice.
Without a doubt, the author identifies himself as that family of poor people who do not stop being exploited, and although he seems like an external narrator, we quickly realize his point of view. And that there are no large descriptive paragraphs. In fact, it is a very oral work, even in the style of the narrator, who could well be another of the estate's servants.
So much so that there were resources in the form of taglines or vulgarisms, and even inaccuracies, which were removed by the publisher's editors before printing, thinking they were mistakes. However, these were resources used conscientiously by Delibes, since in reality he is giving a voice to those illiterate characters. This is also due to the elimination of traditional resources of the cultured novel, such as hyphens, quotation marks or anything that formalizes a dialogue. It's like mixing narrative voices, giving everything an enormous vividness and dynamism, just as the poetic tone in a text plagued by linguistic irregularities is incredible.