Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What is the role that institutions, such as government, church, and family, play in the fiction of Helena María Viramontes?

How do protagonists find their identity in the stories of Viramontes—through traditional assimilation into these institutions or through resistance and rebellion?

What is coming-of-age like for Viramontes’s young protagonists?

What role does gender play in these stories? Social class? Ethnicity?

What characterizes the structure and style of Viramontes’s stories?