I, Rigoberta Menchu - Chapter Xvi - Issues

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In Chapter XVI of I, Rigoberta Menchu, theme-changing issues are raised which lead to turning points in the attitude of Menchu's dealing with suffering. Issues are raised such as the communal tradition of her people; the realization of oppression through inward comparison; the change from the acceptance of suffering as fate, which is unpreventable, to the realization of injustice and exploitation as preventable; and finally the road of action that these realizations lead too. The title of chapter XVI, "Period of Reflection on the Road to follow", represents a turning point in Menchu's investigation into her dilemma and her understanding of the events she faces. She contemplates what she understands and reflects on what has happened. She thinks about the future and has dreams about her people revolting. The quote by Asturias seems to confront Menchu's method of investigation. It deals with self-examination and perception. It contests that blindness will occur if one does not "free it from his consciousness and examine it." Menchu spends a great deal of time comparing herself to others. She frees the vision of oppression from her conscience and examines it so it is no longer obscured. An important issues raised in Chapter XVI is community. Menchu begins the chapter by acknowledging the importance of all her people and not just herself. This attitude, a tradition of her people, later plays a factor in way which action is taken. Thorough community politics is brought about and Menchu analyzes her people's situation. Menchu compares herself to others as a means of investigation to gain knowledge of the external world. She compares her situation to the situations of others. What she finds is that her people are being exploited. The root of all their problems is exploitation. The rich and the land owners have exploited her people for their own profiteering and personal gain. The biggest shock to Menchu is how her status of being an Indian is viewed. Through her...
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