Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 271
Richard Rodriguez' Days of Obligation is a collection of ten essays. In his first chapter, "India," he discusses the legacy of India in the colonization of Mexico, explaining that the Virgin of Guadalupe as dark-skinned is evidence of the fact that Latin American culture has transformed European Catholicism.
In the second chapter, "Late Victorians" discusses the AIDs endemic in San Francisco, and how it transformed the gay community of San Francisco.
Chapter three, "Mexico's Children," is an extensive discussion of the tradition of Mexican immigration. The chapter suggests that Mexicans traditionally go to California with a view to returning home, but California transforms them to want to stay there and experience cultural amnesia.
Chapter four, "In Athens Once" discusses the difference cultural transmissions that have happened between Tijuana and San Diego, the former becoming cosmopolitan, the latter becoming more drug-infested.
Chapter five "The Missions," is an exploration of the California missions, and an examination into what those missions represent historically.
Chapter six, "The Head of Joaquin Murrieta" is a Mexican from the nineteenth century that become a mythic figure for California.
Chapter seven, "Sand," is an anecdotal essays comparing San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Chapter eight, "Asians" suggests that Asians in California, too, suffer from cultural amnesia. They have also helped develop the California's economy.
Chapter nine, "The Latin American Novel," is a discussion of religion. Rodriguez proposes that the Protestantism and Catholicism have fundamental cultural differences that mirror those between the U.S. and Mexico.
Chapter ten, "Nothing Lasts a Hundred Years" takes place in Sacramento, and the author examines how his childhood there affected his adult life as Mexican-American.