Hispanic Literature

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Juan Rulfo is a Hispanic author that is known for his treatment and depiction of the Mexican landscape and the struggles occurring to individuals and communities there. Although critics of Hispanic literature applaud Rulfo's work for its regionalism, Rulfo's work is applicable on a wide scale for the universality of its themes, including man vs.


"Talpa" provides excellent examples of Rulfo's attention to detail and his style of painting a picture of the setting and rough environment. Rulfo utilizes the theme of man vs. environment to describe life in the pueblo. As much as he paints plainly a portrait of landscape, Rulfo's details about the harsh environment often mirror the severity of the characters' actions. Killings are thematic in "The Man" and "Talpa," and the environment is used as a harsh burden punishing the characters for their killings.
Rulfo's short stories relate to his life because they occur in the environment that he knows. He is often characterized as a regionalist writer, meaning that his works tell about the people and lifestyle of a specific area -- Rulfo's being the central valley of Mexico in the 1950's. Rulfo was born in 1917 in Jalisco. His childhood was difficult, and the violence in the 1920s probably impacted him and made his writing style as violent and severe as it is. He was left an orphan before the age of ten. These harsh realities of life are echoed in his works, often about killings. That tone is also mirrored within the environment.
Monsivis, a notable Mexican journalist, explains Rulfo's place in Hispanic literature, that he is a trustworthy interpreter of the daily life of those living in the pueblos. ...
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