46 pages 1 hour read

Nilo Cruz

Anna In The Tropics

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2003

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After Reading

Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Consider The Power of Literature and Language in the context of Cruz’s play. How does access to literature through the lector shape the characters’ development within the play? What does the workers’ access to literature represent on a symbolic level? How does access to literature connect with the theme Lost Traditions?

Teaching Suggestion: This Discussion/Analysis Prompt invites students to recontextualize their answers from the Personal Connection Prompt to the setting of Cruz’s play. Although Anna in the Tropics features a specific historical and social context, Cruz’s play speaks to the importance of both the power of literature for all communities as well as the potential impacts of unregulated technology and mass production. Cruz also raises the discussion of access to education for Cuban migrant workers, as many of the characters in the play do not have access to literature outside what the lector chooses to read. Cheché’s attempt to abolish the lector and move to machine manufacturing represents the dichotomy between the absence of humanities in a technologically driven world, one which ignores human emotions and instead focuses on increased commodification and output.

Before students attempt an individual written response, it might be beneficial for small groups to briefly discuss the ways in which limited access to literature can impact a population generally; examples to offer students might include decreased funding for public libraries, school libraries that are unstaffed and unsupported, and banning titles in schools and community settings.