This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Reflection On "I, Rigoberta Menchu" Essay

744 words - 3 pages

In her autobiography, Rigoberta Menchú narrates the story of the indigenous people of Guatemala whose lives during the twentieth century reaction era were marked by hardship and injustice. "I, Rigoberta Menchú" illustrates the clashing of civilizations in the New World as a direct result of the colonizers' stubborn attempt to introduce and impose their culture into a medium that was not entirely compatible with it. The world view of the indigenous people of Guatemala was limited to their humble agrarian society, therefore, their appreciation for life, nature, religion and work differed greatly from that of the ladinos and this created strains in their relationship; strains that would ultimately find means of expression in protest and reaction. The ladinos' conception of the Guatemalans also contributed to this clash, the inaccurate stereotypes and blind discrimination resulted in the ladinos' disregard for the peasants' uniqueness and individuality. A lifetime of tradition cannot change overnight. Perhaps if the conquerors had introduced their culture to the New World in a more subtle way the wounds of the clash of civilizations would have been minor bruises instead and easier to heal.While the epitome of beauty for the ladinos was civilization and modernization, the epitome of beauty to the indigenous people of Guatemala was family, tradition, work and nature. The city, with its towering buildings and speeding cars, was overwhelmingly intimidating to the Indians. Rigoberta describes the city as being a "(...) monster, something alien, different." (Menchú, 32) Instead, the peasants were exposed to the natural environment and were content: "Where I live is practically a paradise, the country is so beautiful. There are no big roads, and no cars." (Menchú, 2) Rigoberta's community respected nature because they depended on it for subsistence. The ladinos considered this worship as pagan and introduced Catholicism as an alternative that would replace the peasants' "naturalist religion." In doing so the ladinos proved to be narrow-minded by failing to recognize the wide spectrum of religion and reducing it to a mere obligation rather than a true conviction and faith that guides people's way of life. If the ruling elite of Guatemala would have abstained itself from disrupting the live of...

Find Another Essay On Reflection on "I, Rigoberta Menchu"

Rigoberta Menchu's Book Essay

1660 words - 7 pages guerillas and the government and reduced the army power within Guatemala. Her work has helped bring light to the strength of individuals and citizen organization in advocacy and policy dialogue on the world scale. In a brief summary of the book I will explore why Rigoberta Menchu is important to Guatemalan development, what she did, and how she helped her people overcome the obstacles thrown their way. As far back as Rigoberta Manchu can remember

Review of Menchu

818 words - 3 pages “I, Rigoberta Menchu, an Indian Woman in Guatemala” (1983), is the personal narrative of the life of a young Guatemalan Quiche Indian woman. Written in the genre of personal testimony, Menchu's powerful voice records the hardships of the Guatemalan people during the political terror of a 36-year Civil War that ended in 1996. Menchu's reality is harsh; life is a struggle to survive. Menchu as if creating an indigenous cloth with numerous threads

The Devastation Of The Indies

911 words - 4 pages Manipulating The Truth To Get Readers Throughout the history of Latin America there were countless accounts of how literature over exemplified the hardships this continent endured. Two works of literature that best suit this example is The Devastation of the Indies from Bartonlome De Las Casas and I, Rigoberta Menchu translated by Ann Wright.From these works it can be seen that manipulating the truth in a matter to get readers interested


530 words - 2 pages , Rigoberta Menchu,a Guatemalan Indian activist. Menchu's account of life in Guatemala is a tale of horror and savagery perpetrated on all those who would dare to try to improve the lives of Guatemala's downtrodden. For the "crimes" of teaching people how to read, organizing labor, or even protesting despicable conditions, people are routinely tortured in ways that rival the Spanish Inquisition. After continuous, unbelievable torture in which he

Rigoberta Menchu

905 words - 4 pages Throughout the beginning of her testimonial, Rigoberta Menchu defines her life and circumstances through suffering eyes. Tradition teaches her that life is about pain and hardships that must be endured. Generation after generation has accepted this lot in life, which is inevitable. She feels suffering is her peoples fate. Yet in Chapter XVI a profound movement occurs within her consciousness. She starts questioning the inevitability of

Biography of Rigoberta Menchu

1738 words - 7 pages Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. Despite her youth she became a powerful spokesperson focusing on the promotion of the defence of human rights, peace, and Indigenous Peoples' rights for the entire Western Hemisphere. Like the Che Guevara legend, the imagery surrounding Rigoberta Menchú served the ideological needs of the urban left. According to Rigoberta Menchú, the

America Needs a Memorial to Slavery

3571 words - 14 pages essay on Menchu's book that:Relatives, neighbors, friends, and former classmates of Rigoberta Menchu, including her older brother and half sister and four Roman Catholic nuns who educated and sheltered her, indicated that many of the main episodes related by Ms. Menchu have either been fabricated or seriously exaggerated (p. 59 Rohter). So by having a narrative speech act, no one knows who to believe. Granted, by letting their own story of the

Racial Oppression

1369 words - 5 pages you forgot the damned past” (686). The white man is imposing his own beliefs and traditions on the black man, and ordering him to forget his own. Another work that deals with racial issues in South Africa is Mark Mathabane’s autobiographical essay, “I Leave South Africa”, in which Mark describes his first trip to America. Expecting the Promised Land, a country that tolerates all individuals, regardless of race, class, or cultural background

Latin American Society

556 words - 3 pages shows the power women have in changing the world and bettering the society to make it acceptable for people to live in. I feel that both stories illustrate that women have the ability to influence and overcome such matters when life becomes tough to face.As I was reading both stories, I came to understand a similar theme: women have the ability to influence and bring about change. Just like Malinche brought about a new race, Menchu tried to bring

Racial Injustice in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin

1939 words - 8 pages struggling to bring food on the table. According to Walter, “I’m thirty-five years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleep in the living room- and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live”(451). This commentary of Walter clearly portrayed the oppressive economy where everything thing were owned by the white people, and the African Americans were living in poverty. Similarly “Sonny’s Blues” also


3719 words - 15 pages nonetheless create one by adding Alice Walker or Rigoberta Menchu to their course reading lists. They vacillate between the rejection of all value judgments and the rejection of one specific set of them -- that which created the Western canon." John M. Ellis, Literature Lost [Yale University Press, 1997], p. 197 This problem turns up in many areas of dishonest intellectual or political argument, as in the box quote. Modern relativists in

Similar Essays

How Health Am I? A Reflection On All Aspects Of My Health

1164 words - 5 pages . Sometimes people are annoying or don’t treat you properly and I feel that not all people and living things have an important place on this earth. Ways I can improve my Spiritual health are thinking positive thoughts, smiling more often, look forward to the light at t he end of the tunnel, recalling happy memories, treating everyone fairly and trying my best to be a positive person.

A Personal Reflection Of What Happened On My First Date And What I Learned From It. (You Can Just Pretend It Was You)

850 words - 3 pages I have always wondered why people are so shy around or at the very least act differently towards the opposite sex. This reminds me of an experience I had once. What happened on my first date what I learned from it. Looking back, I remember many things about that night, like, what specifically happened there, how I felt during this strange ordeal, and finally; what I learned from the experience.From what I remember, before the date even started

Freaky Friday Essay

1707 words - 7 pages way that is cohesive and compelling. By using such a technique, however, Rigoberta opened herself to criticism regarding the accuracy of her account, particularly by the anthropologist David Stoll, who spent a number of years working to discredit Rigoberta, based on the notion that what she presented in her book was fact. Though I, Rigoberta Menchu has been widely referred to as an autobiography, this label is somewhat misleading. In actuality

Guatemala Without A Trace Of Bitterness In Her Voice

1539 words - 6 pages , on prophecy.Her own history and the history of her family is told with great detail in the book I, Rigoberta Menchu. Not only does onePage 3learn about the culture of her people and about the community in which she lives, but an understanding is gained as to impetus toreact against ones oppressor. Born the sixth child to an already impoverished but well respected family, Rigoberta remembers growing up in the mountains on land that no one else