The only hope Tacha had of avoiding a life of prostitution in the city, a fate that befell her sisters, was in the wealth represented by the cow, which would have attracted a man to marry her. The story is written in what seems to be the plain speech of a peasant, but it is a language in which every word is charged with ironic meaning. This gives the impression that the narrator and his family, who seem largely unaware of the irony, are overwhelmed by events beyond their control or understanding. The detail and precision with which Rulfo focuses on the minutiae of a particular situation, combined with a remarkable economy of style, make this story resonate within a broad historical and social context and present strong implications about the very nature of human reality. The historical period in which the story takes place, as with all the stories in The Burning Plain, is that of the late s during the last stages of the Cristero rebellion, a period of armed uprisings by rural priests and their constituents against the anticlerical policies of the revolutionary Mexican government, in the Los Altos region of the state of Jalisco in west central Mexico.
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All they could do was sit under their roof watching the water. The narrator then talks about the river, saying it began to rise at around dawn three nights ago. He had been sleeping but the noise of the river woke him up and made him get out of bed, because he thought the roof might be caving in.
When he woke in the morning it was still raining and the roar of the river sounded closer and louder than before. Water was gushing out of her front door. The woman was desperately trying to move hens into the street so they could find a place to escape the water. This is a sign that this is an extraordinary flood, since the tree has always survived when the river rose in the past. The narrator asks himself how it occurred to La Serpentina to cross the river when it was so violent.
All he can think of is that she must have fallen asleep and drowned when the water reached her. He remembers that she was always content to stay and sleep in the corral rather than leaving to feed. The narrator wonders if the cow woke up when the water touched her.
He imagines she must have been frightened and tried to escape, but she probably got confused and got a cramp in the black slippery water. He only saw the spotted La Serpentina wash by with her legs in the air before she turned over and disappeared. The family is particularly upset because now Tacha is without her cow. The father worked hard to acquire the animal to give to her as a future dowry.
The father says they were bad because they were poor and very wild. They were difficult children, went out with the wrong types of men and listened to the whistles directed their way at nighttime. They would go down to the river for water all too often and all of a sudden would both be rolling around naked on the ground with a man each.
She hopes God will look after them. The father says there is nothing they can do now. The narrator observes Tacha crying over the cow. The family has no choice but to set the harvest of rye out in the open to dry under the sun. As a result, when bad weather comes there is no way to shelter it. Additionally, when it needs to be moved, this can only be accomplished by hand.
This description emphasizes the extremely underdeveloped nature of Mexican agriculture, especially in comparison with the modern capitalist system that the contemporary government hopes to impose. Given the relatively poor quality of the redistributed land after the Revolution, many of the hopes of the rural poor rested in the possession of capital or consumption goods. With the rising of the waters not only has the family lost its collective capital in the ruined rye, but also that of their last daughter.
This lack of equilibrium in nature is a common theme in Rulfo and proves to be the downfall of many of his characters. Naturalism is a philosophical and literary movement which gained impulse during the 19th century and stressed the importance of realist representation and science, as opposed to the ideal.
Análisis Del Cuento: “Es Que Somos Muy Pobres”
Resumen; Es Que Somos Muy Pobres