The Rain God Hand Out
Presenters: Emily M. Van Buren and Tori Breen
THEMES: Family and Religion
1) Video of American vs. Mexican cultures
2) Emily will read quotes pulled from the last section of the book about the theme of FAMILY
There will be a discussion about family members in The Rain God
– “After they buried him, a delegation of revolutionaries came to her home is disguise while her husband Carlos was away to tell her they considered her son a hero. She looked at them in rage and disbelief. ‘Keep your hero,’ she said to them at the door, ‘give me back my son” (Islas, 163).
-“Mama, you have never loved me, I who have been a good and dutiful daughter, except in marrying against your wishes” (Islas, 167).
– “Propped up in a strange bed in a unfamiliar and sterile room, Mama Chona saw her children around her, weeping silently (Islas, 177).
– “No harm, Mama Chona made them believe, could ever come from within one’s own home and family” (Islas, 163).
3) Tori will read quotes pulled from the last section of the book about the theme of RELIGION
There will be a class discussion about which family members valued religion more than others.
Family Discussion Questions:
1) How does Family influence one’s actions? For example, Aunt Mema gave birth to her son Ricardo out of wedlock and put him up for adoption upon the family’s request.
2) How do you view Mama Chona’s decision to take an illegitimate grandchild into her home, but refusal to accept Jesus Maria’s marriage simply because she did not approve of him.
3) “Now I think I should have murdered him, God forgive me” (Islas 168). What does this quote in particular say about how Jesus Maria views family?
-“I am happy to leave this valley of tears because I know the life awaiting will be much, much better. Please don’t cry anymore. Leave me in peace with Jesus and His Holy Mother” (Islas, 179).
– “From then on, Mama Chona bore her children out of duty to her husband and the Church” (Islas, 164).
– “ Afraid? Afraid of what? She had known death all her life. Her existence had been a long dying fall. She welcomed death. Even in her imperfection, she knew that Jesus and His Mother would take her to them and comfort her all eternity” (Islas, 178)
Religion Discussion Questions:
1) From these quotes, how do you think the relationships in this book were affected by religion. For example, Mama Chona’s relationship with Jesus Maria and so on.
2) What religious values are held the most strongly by the characters in The Rain God?
3) Which characters do you think valued their religion more than others?
– Islas, Arturo. The Rain God: A Desert Tale. New York: Avon, 1991. Print.