A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

By Gustavo Pérez Firmat

Half a century after audience first watched a father and son strolling to the neighborhood fishing gap, whistling an easy, but unforgettable, song, The Andy Griffith Show continues to be essentially the most renowned sitcoms within the background of yank tv. millions of audience have noticeable the convey both in its unique run, its ongoing reruns, on DVD, or on the net. web content dedicated to the express abound, hundreds of thousands of fan golf equipment deliver fans jointly, and a plethora of books and Mayberry-themed item have celebrated all issues Mayberry. A small cottage has even built round the teachings of the show's episodes. yet why does a sitcom from the Nineteen Sixties set within the rural South nonetheless evoke such devotion in humans today?

In A Cuban in Mayberry, acclaimed writer Gustavo Pérez Firmat revisits America's fatherland to find the resource of its enduring charm. He methods the convey from a distinct perspective—that of an exile who hasn't ever skilled the rootedness that Andy and his fellow Mayberrians take without any consideration, as people who have by no means strayed from domestic or lived between strangers. As Pérez Firmat weaves his own reminiscences of exile from Cuba with an research of the exhibit, he makes a powerful case that the intimacy among individual and position depicted in TAGS is the key of its lasting relevance, whilst he unearths the fabulous ways that the sequence additionally displays the racial, generational, and political turbulence of the 1960s.

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Extra resources for A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown

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Andy doesn’t understand her reasoning because he’s happy where he is. ” she asks him. ” His reply summarizes Mayberrian philosophy: “I don’t have to. ” Sharon knows that you can’t go home again, as another resident of the North State put it. Andy knows that what you can do is not leave. If domestic plotlines center on Mayberrians, exotic episodes—about a third of the total—revolve around intruders. This category includes the city slickers, hobos, crooks, con artists, and convicts who come upon Mayberry, as well as the state or federal agents who look down upon Andy’s police methods—all of them people who, from the townsfolk’s point of view, are also exotic in the usual sense: alien, unfamiliar, not only strangers but strange.

Whatever the name of the town, all these shows unfold in some version of “Centerville,” the mythical middle-­American town of The Aldrich Family (1948–1953), which set the pattern for family-­centered shows. ”3 This characterization does not apply to Mayberry, not because the town is not a Neverland, but because of the wealth of knowledge we acquire about the town and its citizens. Contrast Mayberry with another of its antecedents, Mayfield, the suburb in Leave It to Beaver, which came into existence in 1957.

The high school that Andy and Barney attended is identified as both Mayberry Union High and Mayberry Central High. Barney and Andy graduated either in 1945 or in 1948. But these lapses are minor and inconsequential. Like some story cycles, TAGS tracks a group of recurring characters whose experiences in the aggregate possess an intelligibility lacking in the individual segments. As one would expect, some episodes are stronger than others. There are repetitive plot lines, clichéd resolutions, a few epilogues that fall flat.

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