Revisiting Tomás Rivera's ...y no se lo tragó la tierra: (Everyday) Trauma and the Monomyth
Keywords:Tómas Rivera, novel, trauma, monomyth, coming of age, psychological effects, discrimination, death
A 1971 publication and winner of the Quinto Sol Prize for Literature, Tomás Rivera’s … y no se lo tragó la tierra is a seminal work of Chicano literature. Several of it stories and anecdotes are based on real events in Rivera’s hometown that relate traumatic experiences. While revisiting the monomyth structure of the novel, this paper focuses on trauma, a notion that critics have identified but none to my knowledge has explored. Given, however, that, according to Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, psychology was Rivera’s favorite subject, everyday trauma, which largely emerges in the novel due to racial discrimination and different forms of death that the protagonist experiences vicariously, deserves examination.