Juan Rulfo’s work is considered to be at the forefront of Latin American modernism and Magical Realism. Discuss Rulfo’s use of such techniques as disrupted narrative and time sequences, surrealism, unreliable narrators, and fantasy in both Pedro Páramo and The Burning Plain.
Rulfo’s work is often set against sterile and bleak landscapes. Discuss how heat, drought, and dust are used to define characters’ lives and actions.
How does Rulfo view family relationships in his work? In particular, what kinds of relationships exist between fathers and sons?
Pedro Páramo is set in a ghost town, where the inhabitants relate their stories in a series of scenes told out of chronological sequence. How does this choice affect the way you read the novel and your understanding of the separation between the living and the dead?
Several of Rulfo’s stories detail various political rebellions taking place in twentieth century Mexico. Research the background of political activism in Mexico and discuss how Rulfo’s work chronicles concerns with class divisions and land ownership.
Sort out the chronological sequence of the plot of Pedro Páramo.
Rulfo is often credited with the ability to create stunning visual imagery through the use of poetic and concrete language. Identify examples of this type of language in Pedro Páramo and The Burning Plain.
Rulfo’s world is one of violence, vengeance, and pain. What characters are usually the victims of this violence, and how do they react to their suffering?