A Journey Through Texas

by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca


external image A_D_Nichols_WTX-Desert_jpg.jpg
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1. What is the time period and how does it affect the literary style?

The time period in which this account was recorded was the 16th century, but more specifically around 1536 when the author had wandered through Texas for 18 months and finally reached Mexico City."A Journey Through Texas" is really more of a journal entry and by it being the 16th century doesn't do much but express the author's ignorance to the land and to what it may lead. So, you can say that the literary style is a very honest recollection and a personal view on the events that take place.

2. What is the author's purpose in writing the selected piece?

As previously said, this selection was more of a type of journal entry and 1st hand account of certain events witnessed by the author himself. So, one can say that the purpose that this selection was written was to document occurrences and for the author to express his own feelings toward the things he experienced. Personal writing, like a diary or journal, is not meant to be publicly read but when it is, it can give an insight into the author's world at that time.

3. What literary techniques does the author employ in achieving his or her purpose?

The literary techniques that the author uses consist mostly of imagery and the meticulous characterizations given by the author. As the author describes what he witnesses and tells of his experiences it enhances the reader's picture and/or opinion of what really happened. By having all that information, the reader can see or imagine the same thing that the author has seen.

4. How is the literature characteristic of the time period?

The literature shows how naive people were to the territory and to what lay ahead. During this time period there was still not very much known about the west and for the author it just made for a more interesting journal. The words are written in a way of great emphasis and honesty that the reader can tell that this could well have been a first hand account of these events. There was disbelief, surprise, and unexpected things which shows the author's mind, ignorant to this place.

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Section 1
1. The Earth on Turtle's Back 2. When Grizzlies Walked Upright 3. from The Navajo Origin Legend 4. from The Iroquois Constitution
Section 2
1. A Journey Through Texas 2. Boulders Taller Than the Great Tower of Seville 3. from The interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano 4. Diamond Island: Alcatraz

Back to first page: Prose-Short Selections