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Latin American Literature - Prof. Rodriguez Spring 2017: Your Assignment

Your Assignment

Choose ONE of the following prompts for your second essay:

  1. “The Latin-Americans found nature inextricably bound up with human problems.”
  • (From Spanish Stories: a Dual Language Book, ed. Angel Flores, p.x)

Nature, of course, can mean many things.  What do you think the critic cited above means by the word?  Certainly nature is found in many forms in the stories we have read.  Write an essay in which you consider the applicability of this quote to at least two of our stories.  Be sure to engage with specific passages from the texts under consideration.  Try to examine the stories from as many relevant angles as possible (plot, theme, character, point-of-view, setting, symbolism, imagery, etc.) in support of your observations.

  1. Write an essay in which you consider the impact of religion on the Latin-American world.  You should examine this issue through the lens of at least two or three of the stories we have read to date.  Remember: religion can mean Christianity, or it can mean the belief systems of the indigenous peoples encountered by the conquistadores, or, it can refer to what happened when the two came together.  Be clear in the essay as to how you are using the word.
  2. The history of gender roles is substantially different in Latin-America from what it has been here in the U.S.  Select two or three stories that take up this issue and formulate a thesis about it.  Support your thesis with a close reading of the stories.

Regardless of which option you select, I would like your essay to be informed by research – either books from our library or sources found in our library databases.  Be sure to cite and document your sources properly, following MLA (7th or 8th edition) guidelines.  I encourage you to seek Prof. Tagliaferro’s assistance with the research component of this assignment.

NOTE: For guidelines about how to quote and cite sources properly in an essay about literature, I urge you to review the following links that have been provided by our library:

Due date: Due Wednesday, April 12 (posted by Noon).  Late papers will receive a grade penalty. 

Length: 6-8 pages (2,000 to 2,500 words).   (Add a Word Count to the end of the essay.) 

Format: Follow guidelines for essays to be submitted to the Beacon Conference.  (See  Double space and use 12-point Times New Roman font. 

Submission guidelines: Post to Blackboard; no hard copies required.

Point value: 50 points.

Representative Sources

1.) Latin American Literature and "Nature"


natur* latin america* liter*

Boling, Becky. "The Trope of Nature in Latin American Literature: Some Examples." Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, no. 2, 2006, p. 245. EBSCOhost,


2.) Latin American Literature and Gender

Venkatesh, Vinodh. "Gender, Patriarchy and the Pen(Is) in Three Rewritings of Latin American History." Chasqui, no. 2, 2011, p. 95. EBSCOhost,


3.) Latin American Literature and Religion


religious symbol* latin america* liter* (Also try "spirituality" or "existentialism")

Rubin, Jeffrey W., et al. "Lived Religion and Lived Citizenship in Latin America's Zones of Crisis." Latin American Research Review, vol. 49, 2014 Special Issue, p. 7. EBSCOhost,

Assistant Professor/Electronic Resources and Technical Services Librarian

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