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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

5. Masculine

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Author Activities

Corridos - Author Questions

Back Back to Corridos Activities
  1. Comprehension: What motivates the heroes of the corridos in the archive? What kinds of values do they espouse? How do they compare to their Anglo adversaries and rivals?

  2. Context: Compare the corrido about Gregorio Cortez to John Ridge's novel, Joaquin Murieta. What do these title characters have in common? How do they interact with Anglo authority figures? How do their stories end? How does the corrido as a genre impact the portrait of Gregorio Cortez? How would Ridge's account of Murieta's life be different if it had been written as a corrido?

  3. Exploration: While corridos were most popular between 1830 and 1930, they are still composed and sung today. Late-twentieth-century corridos include the "Recordado al Presidente," about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Texas, and the "Corrido de Cesar Chavez," about Chavez's organization of the United Farm Workers and their successful protest for better working conditions. How do the lyrics of these later corridos compare to the earlier corridos? What kinds of shifts in values do you see? How are the heroes of these later ballads different from heroes like Gregorio Cortez or Jacinto Trevino? How are they similar?

  4. Exploration: Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street consists of a series of vignettes, each of which revolves around the young heroine, Esperanza. What analogies do you see between the structure of characterization used in the corridos and in Cisneros's novel?

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