88 pages 2 hours read

Tomás Rivera

And The Earth Did Not Devour Him

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1971

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Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Consider the dichotomous relationships that Rivera establishes in the novel. How do these dichotomies speak to The Interdependence of Paradoxical Elements in one’s life? Does Rivera’s stance match your response from the Personal Connection Prompt? In what ways or to what extent?

Teaching Suggestion: This Discussion/Analysis Prompt invites students to consider Rivera’s relationships as examples of interdependent dichotomies. Whether it is light and dark, life and death, good and bad, or hope and despair, Rivera navigates the polemic paradoxes with a stream-of-consciousness narrative that allows the speakers to coexist in the dichotomy without reconciliation. In this vein, Rivera comments on the ambiguity of existence, particularly in the case of Mexican farm laborers as they navigate structural barriers in the US.