Chicano Identity in Chicano Fiction

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GRIN Verlag, 2008 - American literature - 28 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 1998 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2 (B), University of Aberdeen (English Department), course: Chicano Fiction, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: Study of mexican-american identity with two books and authors: Tomas Rivera ..".And the Earth Did Not Devour Him" and Richard Rodriguez: "Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez.", abstract: In this essay, I will address the question of Chicano identity by investigating two very different texts, that both deal with a quest for identity in a Mexican-American context: Tomas Rivera's ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Richard Rodriguez' Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. I will first discuss the contextual differences between the two works. Then I will consider the definitions of identity upon which the texts are based. Going deeper into the works themselves, I will finally discuss along which lines the two quests for identity develop. In conclusion, I will connect my investigations to the question of whether Chicano identity is unified or fragmented. Both Tomas Rivera's ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Richard Rodriguez' Hunger of Memory are about an individual searching for his identity. In both works, the protagonist is a Mexican-American or 'Chicano'. However, the differences between the two books are huge. The generic difference is most obvious: Rivera's work is a fictional narrative, which Hector Calderon termed 'novel-as-tales'.1 Rodriguez, referring to his book, speaks of ' e]ssays impersonating an autobiography' (p. 7). This entails that the subject searching for identity is, in Rodriguez' case, the author himself, or rather his literary image. In Rivera's case, the subject is purely fictional, although some critics have identified this literary subject with the author."

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