Chicano Identity in Chicano Fiction

Seminar Paper, 1998

9 Pages, Grade: 2 (B)

Abstract or Introduction

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: Tomás 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 Tomás 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 Héctor Calderón 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.


Chicano Identity in Chicano Fiction
University of Aberdeen  (English Department)
Chicano Fiction
2 (B)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
440 KB
Study of mexican-american identity with two books and authors: Tomás Rivera "...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him" and Richard Rodriguez: "Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez."
Chicano, Identity, Chicano, Fiction, Chicano, Fiction
Quote paper
Mag. Markus Widmer (Author), 1998, Chicano Identity in Chicano Fiction, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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