For your exam, you will write a short essay (approximately 2 typed pages or 500 words) on one of the following topics. You will use short stories from the collection The Stories of Eva Luna to demonstrate what you have learned about analyzing Latin American literature. You may use the introductory essay from The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories or the powerpoint on Latin American literary movements in our D2L site as background material, but you should not refer to any other sources. I am primarily interested in how you are able to analyze the stories without any outside aid.
Select one of the following topics:
1. Although Allende does not experiment with language and structure (Modernist tradition of the early 20thcentury) to the same extent as some other Latin American writers, we do see an emphasis in her work on the power of language and storytelling, the act of creation, and the role of the narrator. Select three to four stories in the collection to discuss that represent Allende’s focus on language and storytelling. Stories you might consider include: “Prologue,” “Two Words,” “If You Touched My Heart,” “The Little Heidleberg,” “The Road North,” and “And of Clay Are We Created.”
2. Many of Allende’s stories feature a component of revenge. Discuss the nature of revenge and how the characters claim power for themselves in the three following stories: “The Gold of Tomas Vargas,” “The Schoolteacher’s Guest,” and “Revenge.”
3. Most of Allende’s stories in the collection deal with some aspect of love, even if in an ironic way or abusive way. Select at least three stories and craft a thesis on the nature of relationships in Allende’s fictional world. Try to make some connection to the themes and/or traditions of 20th-Century Latin American literature. Some stories you might consider using include:
“The Little Heidelberg”
“The Judge’s Wife”
“Letters of Betrayed Love”
4. One of the prominent themes is Latin American literature is the exploitation of indigenous peoples, especially during the Colonial period. How does Allende explore this topic in at least three of the following stories: “Toad’s Mouth,” “Walimai,” “The Road North,” “A Discrete Miracle,” and “Phantom Palace.”
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