Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 469
The Heart of Aztlán by Rudolpho Anaya chronicles the movement of a Chicano family to a city from a rural area. This is representative of the many rural farmers in the 19th century—especially African Americans and Mexican Americans—who moved closer to cities.
Before they leave, the family sells their land to re-settle in a barrio outside of Albuquerque. Clemente, the father, is frustrated at how little he is being paid for his land in Guadalupe.
"There's no justice in dealing in land," Clemente shook his head. "You offer me Judas money for my three acres, for a home I built from this very earth with my bare hands, for a well blasted a foot at a time out of the hard earth so that I might have water for the jardín and the animals--You offer me nothing, just enough to pay off my debts, then there is nothing left." ... He tried to understand the necessity of selling the land, to understand that the move would provide his children a new future in a new place, but that did not lesson the pain he felt as the roots of his soul pulled away and severed themselves from the earth which had nurtured his soul. (3)
Clemente and his sons are reluctant to leave their land. Clemente's reluctance will contribute to his difficulty settling in his new barrio. A blind man named Crispin comes to the aid of the family, which is struggling with the move in various ways. Clemente turns to alcoholism, and his son Benjie becomes involved with drugs. Crispin is a seer that sings in the rail yard where Clemente worked. He rescues Clemente after he nearly kills himself while drunk. Later, Crispin describes the power of Aztlán:
Aztlán was a floating continent that...
(The entire section contains 469 words.)
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