Advanced Placement Spanish Language eahs

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Contesta con el mayor detalle posible las siguientes preguntas:

¿Quién el personaje principal (eje de toda la historia)?

¿Cómo era el caballo?

¿Qué representaba la imagen del caballo?

¿Cómo hablaba la gente del caballo?

¿Qué hacia el caballo cuando le ponían trampas?

¿Qué edad tenía el muchacho?

¿Qué pasa y siente el muchacho cuando por primera vez ve a el caballo?

¿Cómo cambio la viuda del muchacho después de haber visto al caballo?

¿Qué día decidió el muchacho salir a cazar a el caballo?

¿Cómo es día cuando encontró al caballo?

¿Qué hace el chico cuando encuentra a la manada y al caballo?

¿Cómo se siente el muchacho cuando está por agarrar al caballo?

¿Cómo se siente cuando va de regreso el muchacho al pueblo?

¿Cómo se veía el caballo al pasar por el pueblo?

¿Qué sentimientos despertó en el adolescente el ver al caballo es esa condición?

¿A dónde metió el muchacho el caballo?

¿Qué tan seguro era el potrero?

Cuando llegó el chico, ¿cuál fue la reacción del padre?

¿Cómo pasó esa noche el muchacho?

¿Qué hizo el caballo mago?

¿Cómo escapó el caballo mago?

¿Cómo se sintió el muchacho?

¿Por qué se sintió así?

¿Para el adolescente qué representaba ahora el caballo mago?

¿Quién encontró al chico al final y qué hizo?


Honey, there’s a rain god in the basement!

A Review
by Frederique Rolland-Mills

"Chac Mool" by Carlos Fuentes

The son of a diplomat, a brilliant intellectual educated in the United States, Chile and Argentina, Carlos Fuentes is also Mexico’s most renowned contemporary novelist. Along with Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende and Mario Vargas Llosa, he is one of the few Latin American writers who lives from his writing. His works are internationally popular and have been translated into many languages. One of them, "The Old Gringo" (1985), was made into a Hollywood movie starring Jane Fonda and Gregory Peck.

Fuentes began his literary career in the 1950s. His first publication was a volume of short stories titled "Los días enmascarados" [The Masked Days] (1953), which was soon followed by a dozen novels, several plays and numerous critical essays. Throughout his prolific career, one of Fuentes’ favorite themes has been Mexico’s past. The author has been particularly interested in two important moments in Mexican history: the Conquest of the Aztecs by the Spaniards and the period of French intervention (1862-67), which brought Emperor Maximilian to power. Both are periods in which Mexico was made to wear a foreign ‘mask’ and to conceal her native heritage."

Mexicanidad (Mexicanness) is precisely the theme of "Chac Mool,’ one of Fuentes’ most widely anthologized short stories, part of a collection titled "Burnt Water." This story deals with Aztec myths, Mexican identity and Mexican cultural heritage. The text also explores the conflict between tradition and modernity, and the intrusion of the fantastic into mundane existence.

The beginning of the story is, however, very realistic. Filiberto, the main character, has drowned in Acapulco and his friend Pepe has come to pick up his body to bury it in Mexico City. Among Filiberto’s personal belongings, Pepe finds his friend’s diary and begins to read it. The diary account reveals a neurotic Filiberto, who remembers the day he purchased a cheap life-size statue of the Aztec rain god Chac Mool.

As soon as he brings the statue home, Filiberto begins to experience water problems in his house: It starts to rain, the pipes burst in the cellar, he cannot find a plumber, etc. Simultaneously, the Chac Mool, who is stored in the basement, begins a strange transformation: he turns green and is soon covered with slime, then with yellow moss. One night, Filiberto hears a threatening moan coming from the basement. At first he thinks it is his imagination, but the moans continue the following nights until he hears someone coming up from the basement. It is Chac Mool who has awakened to take over the house.

Even though there is evidence that Chac Mool’s presence mentally disturbs Filiberto (he is increasingly nervous and fired from his job), the creature is not at first threatening. The rain-god behaves quite nicely and tells his host wonderful stories. However, things begin to change when the dry season arrives. Chac Mool becomes more irritable, authoritarian and even violent, and treats Filiberto as his slave. As time goes by, the rain-god also falls into human temptations and shows signs of decadence. He covers himself with cheap perfumes; orders chicken and rice, and enjoys stroking the silk of bathrobes. One night, while he is away, Filiberto decides to escape to Acapulco.

The diary stops here. At his point, Pepe is convinced that his friend went mad and that, as a result, he committed suicide. However, as he arrives with the coffin at Filiberto’s house, a repulsive yellow-skinned Indian in a smoking jacket and ascot opens the door and tells him to carry the body down to the cellar.

Chac Mool
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