Local community in a global world: Miguel Ángel Asturias, Otto René Castillo, Luis de Lión and the problematics of representing the Guatemalan pueblo Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Muñoz, Kerri Anderson
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • This dissertation examines the effects of global powers upon the local communities of Guatemala at three points in the twentieth century as they are portrayed by Miguel Ángel Asturias, Otto René Castillo and Luis de Lión. Each author denounces his historical moment and each one offers a solution to the problems they present. The primary theorists used to guide this study are Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Edward Said and Raymond Williams. The introductory chapter serves two purposes. First, it offers a concise overview of the study as a whole. Second, it clarifies theoretical terminology that is used throughout the dissertation. The second chapter, "Spatial Disparities in Miguel Ángel Asturias's Viento fuerte," examines the devastation wrought within Guatemala by the U.S.-based United Fruit Company. This chapter studies the degree to which cultural identity is threatened in the face of economic imperialism. "Creating a Space for Love and Revolution: The Poetry of Otto René Castillo" is the title of the third chapter. This section reads the militant poet's work as a call to action. His conversationalist poetry is approached as a protest against the capitalist world in which he lived; his love poetry is interpreted as an articulation of the Socialist Revolution that Castillo posed as a solution to the problems triggered by the capitalist system. The fourth and final chapter, "Spatializing Ladinoization: Luis de Lión's El tiempo principia en Xibalbá," reads de Lión's novel as a rejection of the colonial process of ladinoization that he saw as leading to the demise of his Mayan culture. This chapter shows that essential to the novelist's argument is his criticism of the role the Mayan themselves play in ladinoization and, by extension, the decay of their cultural heritage. Finally, this dissertation draws the conclusion that even though each author is distinguished by his historical moment and political agendas, all three are united in their belief in the power of community to change the course of history.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Salgado, María Antonía
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.