I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala

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Research ancient Mayan culture, with particular emphasis on respect for nature and family and rites of passage. Compare and contrast the salient elements of ancient Mayan culture and modern Quiché Indian culture. What has remained intact? What has evolved?

Investigate the United States' involvement in Guatemalan politics and economy from 1960 to 1990, with emphasis on the U.S. anti-Communist policies of the Cold War. What were the effects of U.S. intervention on Indian land holdings and family structure?

Trace the development of Menchú's feminist sensibility, and the way she acknowledges, confronts, preserves, and adapts traditional notions of family, motherhood, womanhood, and machismo.

Analyze the structure and recurring themes of Menchú's story as testimony. Compare and contrast her testimony to African-American narratives, such as those of Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X. What themes of struggle and oppression, as well as triumph and resilience, are present in both narratives?

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