Dr. A told us something during our last class at her house that really stuck out to me. Her daughter, who recently completed her thesis for her Master’s degree, dedicated it to Dr. A and wrote, “to my mother who taught me that no text is insignificant.” I think this quote sums up almost everything I learned and will take away from this course. Even telenovelas, a genre that many people ignore due to its negative stereotype, have something important to say about a culture and a society. Dr. A said she never even remembers telling this piece of advice to her daughter, but clearly her hard work and dedication to the research of telenovelas is a clear representation of this idea.
The work of Leonardo Padrón, the writer who Dr. A has studied for many years, is a perfect representation of the importance of telenovelas as a genre. With their huge popularity in Latin America, telenovelas have the unique ability to reach many people all over the world. It is for this reason that the genre is very important and deserves to be respected and researched. Leonardo Padrón has tackled many controversial topics, challenging the people of Venezuela to open their eyes to new ideas. He has used telenovelas to discuss Asperger’s Syndrome, the world’s obsession with beauty, political problems in Venezuela, cancer, and many other important topics. His telenovelas have challenged and educated people all over the world, while also inspiring hope, and just because his medium of choice is telenovelas, does not make his work any less credible. In some ways, his work just has the unique ability to touch the lives of far more people than he would be able to reach using another medium.
Before taking this class, I believed the stereotype. I did not think telenovelas had anything important to say. I really had not thought much about the genre at all. But because of this class, and the amazing work of Leonardo Padrón, my eyes have been opened to the many important roles telenovelas can play in a society. And in the case of Venezuela, the work of Padrón serves as a symbol of hope to the Venezuelan people.
Like she taught her daughter, Dr. A has also taught me that no text is insignificant, even a telenovela. I am extremely grateful I had to the opportunity to take this course, and I learned far more than I ever expected.