English, Department of


First Advisor

Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes

Second Advisor

Matt Cohen

Third Advisor

Luis Othoniel Rosa

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Amelia María de la Luz Montes. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2022

Copyright © 2022 Elva Moreno Del Rio


This thesis is composed of two parts that scrutinize the myth of the United States

and el cuento of El Otro Lado. The first part titled, “The Illness Rooted in the American Myth” connects the U.S. myth to J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s piece Letters from an American Farmer, published in 1782. In analyzing the writings of Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Eden E. Torres, I indentify the impact that Crevecoeur’s myth had on Black, Indigenous and other people of color. This research illustrates the physical and psychological effects that these ideologies have on the mind and body of the marginalized. For part two, I use Gloria Anzaldúa’s theory to further analyze memory, trauma, and los cuentos in Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us. I am specifically using this in relation to the myths told to young migrants of El Otro Lado to depict the United States. It is for this reason that I am focusing on the cuentos in this book as it further complicates the narratives of El Otro Lado and the effects of these cuentos on the mind and body.

Advisor: Amelia María de la Luz Montes