Disconnect Essay

1776 Words Feb 17th, 2011 8 Pages
Disconnect
Tomas Rivera’s book …And the Earth did not Devour Him captures the pains and triumphs of stories of Mexican farm workers told from an unnamed protagonist. Tomas Rivera’s book deals with many social problems, such as class, religion, sexism, and race, and finds a way to highlight each one through the young boy’s stories. The protagonist, who is young, tells these stories at a time in his life when he is transforming from an adolescent to an adult. The young boy, whom is the main character, seems to observe or deal with all of these issues. The issue that is most pronounced within him is folk religion; folk religion deals with superstitions and practices that are done by the believer which are not authorized by their church or
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The protagonist mother leaves a glass of water under his bed for the “spirits to drink” and never realizes that it is not the spirits that drink the water, but her own son. It is in this short story that you can see the protagonist realizing that there is no spirits like his mother or the bible say, but just him in his bed. Rivera’s book deals with many instances where the young boy realizes that his religion is not exactly what he thought. Even Hector Calderon, an editor of the book Criticism in the Borderlands, argues that the first part of the novel immediately begins questioning faith: “Through the first half the novel’s changing structure calls into question commonly held beliefs” (Calderon and Saldivar 108). The protagonist is not only realizing his mother’s beliefs as are untrue, but that religion is too.
Another fault, this one being more pronounced and even more of a realization for the protagonist that his faith is not true, is when the protagonist tempts the devil. For the longest time the protagonist was told that if you called out to the devil he would come and evil would prevail over you until it was too late. The boy, who wants to find out if this statement is true or not, finally gets the courage to call out to the devil and realizes that there is no such thing. The boy patiently waits for the repercussions of calling the devil by numerous names and encounters none. It is at this time when the boy realizes that there is no devil. After he calls

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