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...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

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Samantha Green

on 9 March 2014

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Transcript of ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

About the Novel
Rather than having a traditional plot with rising action, climax, and resolution, the novel presents the fragmented memories of a young boy.
Some of the stories and anecdotes are told by the boy, some by a third-person narrator, and still others through the use of dialogue.
This "fragmented method" allows Rivera to cover a large range of experiences with the normal constraints of a chronologically ordered series of events.
The anecdotes and stories, together, vividly depict a community's struggle against incredible odds.

Meet Tomás Rivera
Tomás Rivera was born December 22, 1935, in Crystal City, TX
When Rivera was a boy, he and his parents, who had immigrated to Texas from Mexico, traveled north every year to pick up crops in Midwest.
Although his family's need to travel from place to place made it difficult for him to attend school, his parents made his education a priority.
Meet Rivera... continued
By the time Rivera graduated high school, he was fluent in both English and Spanish.
Rivera went on to attend college, earning a degree in English, a master's degree in education administration, and a doctorate in romance languages and literature.
In 1979, he was appointed the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside (the university's first Chicano chancellor and youngest administrator).
...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him
consists of twenty-seven (27) episodes.
Twelve (12) of these are title stories. Thirteen (13) are brief, untitled anecdotes, or short stories, that make a point.
The two (2) remaining are introductory and concluding narratives that frame the novel and help unify it.
Each anecdote is related by subject or theme to the story that comes before or after it.
Some characters appear in more than one story; others do not. Some characters are identified; many remain nameless.
At UCR, he promoted Chicano literature and culture.
It was eventually included in the college curriculum.
Rivera is most remembered, however, as an author.
Rivera's body of work was relatively small-one incomplete novel in addition to ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, several short stories, poems, and literary essays.
He preserved his own past in his stories because he was armed with a powerful memory and an expert eye to detail.
Rivera died of a heart attack at the age of 48.
Introducing the Novel
This novel demands that readers make connections between the stories and come to their own conclusions about the identity and relationship of the characters and the meaning of nameless people's actions.

In the novel, Rivera tries to give voice to migrant workers like the ones he grew up with. His goal is to reveal hopes, dreams, frustrations, and deprivations as they suffer, pray, celebrate, and remember.
...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him
How It's Set Up
The Time
and Place
This novel takes place during the late 1940s and early 1950s, a time when many Mexicans came to the United States to work.
During WWII, the bracero ("manual labor") program, negotiated by the US and Mexico in 1942 made short-term employment available to Mexicans in job areas that were previously closed to them.
Literary Terms:
anecdote - a short, obscure historical or biographical account
third-person narrator - the person that is used by the speaker of an utterance in referring to anything or to anyone other than the speaker or the one or ones being addressed.
dialogue - the conversation between characters in a novel, drama, etc.
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