The Burning Plain and Other Stories

El Llano En Llamas: A Burning Desire for Change and the Short Stories of Juan Rulfo College

The Mexican Revolution was fought to bring about reform for the peasants in society; on the contrary, no agrarian reform occurred, and the people were left worse off than before the fighting began. Juan Rulfo wrote a collections of short stories titled The Burning Plain to paint a picture of the land once the fighting ceased. The president, Madero, had one post-revolutionary plan that included draining lake beds to get rid of salt in the soil. He would then implement a land reclamation process in which states distributed the land. This did not work because in the years that followed, no rain came and the land remained dry and not arable. People ended up worse than they had been before because of his plan and the unfortunate weather patterns of the time (Fitz). It can easily be said that “the fusion of human and environment as a metaphor for the characters’ fate or for their desired but unrealizable state” (Bell). The imagery hints at a deeper meaning; it serves as a way to depict the mood of the people as well.

A reoccurring theme in Rulfo’s stories is how the desolate landscape represents the feelings of hopelessness and despair among the people. In “Luvina”, the narrator tells his friend about a town for which the short story...

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