When ‘‘End of the Game’’ was published, Cortazar lived in Paris, where he enjoyed a rich cultural life among other writers and artists. He had left his native Argentina in 1951, five years after Juan Domingo Peron became president of Argentina for the first time. In 1944, while Cortazar was teaching at the University of Cuyo in Mendoza, he had been arrested for protesting against Peron. This arrest led to his resignation from the university. Cortazar left Argentina because of the restrictions—political and cultural—under Peron.
Argentina Under Juan Domingo Peron
In 1943, Juan Domingo Peron was an army colonel and one of the leaders in a coup to overthrow the Conservative government. Thereafter, Peron became the Minister of Labor and was elected to the presidency in 1946 with 54 percent of the vote. He ran on a platform of pro-labor rhetoric and won with the support of the military, the poor, and the working class. He also had the support of many immigrants.
Peron’s government, the Partido Unico de la Revolucion Nacional became known as the Peronist or Justicialista Party. Peron was against the aristocratic values that had previously existed in Argentinean government. He was a hero among the working class, whom he championed, providing social security, free public education for all, low-income housing, health insurance, and paid holidays. He attempted to integrate the population and to empower the working class by expanding workers’ unions. However, Peron ran the government as a dictator, removing all but one of the Supreme Court Justices, exiling priests, and attempting to have only his supporters in positions of power. Eventually, the country fell into economic crisis, and opposition to Peron grew.
Peron’s second wife, Eva Duarte de Peron, known as Evita, was a charismatic former actress and is thought to have helped her husband gain popularity and win re-election in 1952. When Evita died that same year, Peron began drinking and exhibiting controversial behaviors. After a coup attempt failed to overthrow Peron in 1955, he made an infamous speech from his balcony, calling for all traitors to be thrown into jail. A few days later, a second coup was successful and Peron fled to Spain.
Peron’s reign was not over. In 1973, after the military government failed to revive the economy or to control domestic terrorism, Peron was again elected president. He died on July 1, 1974, and his third wife, Isabel Marı´a Martı´nez de Peron served as president until she was removed by a military coup on March 24, 1976.
Sara Constantakis – Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context & Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, vol. 31, Julio Cortazar, Published by Gale Group, 2010