Tomas Rivera, Y No Se Trago La Tierra

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The novel ‘Y no se lo tragó la tierra’ is a collection of short stories about a pueblo of immigrant and migrant working-class Mexican workers in Texas. These people live in abject poverty and are mistreated by all those around them. This novel serves to give them a voice, not only about the major deciding factors in their lives but also the everyday, the mundane. It is through combining both the significant and the mundane that Tomás Rivera allows us a real insight into the lives of these people, el pueblo as a whole. Though the narrator is a young boy, he relates stories both in the traditional narrative format and also as a series of overheard conversations. It is almost as if the reader is eavesdropping on the life of el pueblo and it is in this way that el pueblo becomes the main character. We identify with el pueblo as a whole as well as with each in habitant individually. The novel is broken up into 27 short stories, some of them whole stories and some only snippets of an overheard conversation or one or two paragraphs long. All of the stories link into the next one and there are common themes within them. These themes are the thing that unite el pueblo, much of the time we see these in the microcosm of one family. The first chapter is quite abstract, it is the child that will become our narrator describing strange dreams and recollections. It is titled El Año Perdido. We assume that the stories that follow are his recollections of the year that has passed. We then follow on into a short, untitled story about his mother placing a glass of water under his bed for the spirits. This is a representation of the superstition of el pueblo. The next three chapters deal the issues of cruelty and desperation within el pueblo. The first Los niños no se aguantaran is told from the perspective of the narrator, those involved and unknown people from el pueblo. A child

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