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

12. Migrant

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Activities: Author Activities

Tomas Rivera - Author Questions

Back Back to Tomas Rivera Activities
  1. Comprehension: What is most shocking about the chapter "The Children Couldn't Wait"? What does this chapter say about the values and views of those who hire migrants? What broader social views are reflected in it?

  2. Comprehension: The final chapter, "Under the House," seems to bind these discordant stories into a whole. Try to identify which italicized quotations go with which story. How does this chapter help unify the work?

  3. Comprehension: ... y no se lo tragó la tierra/ ... And the Earth Did Not Devour Him demands that readers make connections among the twenty-seven episodes. Why is it important to the author that readers make these connections? Why might Rivera want readers to feel uncomfortable and somewhat lost until after they've experienced these bits and pieces of tales and conversations?

  4. Context: Rivera's ... y no se lo tragó la tierra/ ... And the Earth Did Not Devour Him is very fragmented in style, somewhat in the nature of works by the U.S. and European modernists. What elements of literary modernism does Rivera's book embrace? How does it differ from other modernist works you have read?

  5. Context: Have students imagine how Rivera's ... y no se lo tragó la tierra/ ... And the Earth Did Not Devour Him could be made into a film. What would such a film be like? What changes would need to be made in the plot or structure of the work to make it a viewable film? If possible, show the class the 1994 film by Severo Perez, And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him, based on the book.

  6. Exploration: ... y no se lo tragó la tierra/ ... And the Earth Did Not Devour Him makes clear the extent of child labor that goes on among industries and farms that hire migrant workers. Research U.S. and international child labor laws. Which other works from this unit demonstrate child labor abuses?

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