What is the summary for And the Earth Did Not Devour Him?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Keep in mind that this is a newly published English translation of an originally Spanish collection of short stories.  The actual title is Y No Se Lo Trago la Tierra, or And the Earth Did Not Devour Him.

There are several stories in And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, all of them having to do with the poverty of the migrant worker.  Apart from poverty and struggle, the great compassion and avid humanity of the migrant worker is stressed in absolutely all the stories (all of which are fiction, but I would call them historical fiction).  There is also a focus on the hardships of life for a migrant farmer and the infliction from the "ruling" classes as well as the camaraderie of the Hispanic community in their willingness to get together and help one another in that survival.

The stories almost all focus on one main character:  a young boy who is just reaching his prime of life.  In this regard, it is a coming of age story.  Some of the stories are about the struggle with his employers, some of the stories are about the struggle with God; however, the faith of the community remains prominent here.  Probably the most memorable quote from the boy, in the  midst of his struggles is as follows:

I suppose if you're scared enough, you're capable of doing anything.

The boy spends some of his time being "scared" of employers, of the landscape of the earth he works, of his fellow migrants, of his parents, of the elders, and of God.  As you can see, the conflict changes from story to story from man vs. man, to man vs. God, to man vs. setting, etc.

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