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The Devil's Highway

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bridget thompson

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of The Devil's Highway

Methodology
A lot of information from Mexican and American officials, Border Patrol, reports from the trials.
Didn’t have any direct contact with survivors because they were involved with a trial.
He got to listen to them on tapes though.
Only direct quotes are direct quotes. Everything else is imagined/created.
“Some conversations were implied--they are presented in the text as possibilities based on recollections and inferences from the recorded testimonies.”
Style & Language
Creative writing style, different from other border literature we've read
Powerful images
Author's discretion in description
Perspective shifting - use of language & vocabulary in this
Why was The Devil's Highway Written?
“We try to put numbers on a story that is, at base, a story of the heart,” (215).
Urrea talks about the border from various perspectives, points of view
In the very last few pages, Urrea speaks to us directly immigration policy, he quotes Consul Flores Vizcara, “What kills the people,” he says, “is the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border,” (215).
Thank you!
The Book
Written about the Yuma 14 (Wellton 26) - 2001 incident
Published 2004
Luis Alberto Urrea author
Mexican-American, well published creative writer. Born in Tijuana. Grew up in San Diego. Dad was Mexican, Mom was American from the East Coast.
Plot
The Devil's Highway
Luis Alberto Urrea
Quotes
Description of dying in the desert p166
For the perspective changes and imagined language:
Of the migrants--2nd paragraph p134
Of the coyote--3rd paragraph p99

BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES TO URREA’S STYLE
+
Landscape description, theme of desolation & survival
Provides in-depth perspective of people’s worldviews/lives
Shows (makes reader think about) each character’s humanity
Very blunt, appropriate for really brutal topic
Overall - extremely intimate, thorough, provocative

-
Urrea’s language and descriptions define how we see and understand the characters.
He couldn’t meet the Mexican characters. They couldn’t edit his book.
There are many immigrants that have done that journey who he could have spoken to. Why did he choose this story?
Who did I feel closest to? Who felt the most real? The most human?
Analysis
Full transcript