Literary Analysis Essay on Across A Hundred Mountain by Reyna Grande

3 pages
578 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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The novel Across a Hundred Mountain was written by Reyna Grande and was published in the year 2016. The novel has received an award in American Book Award. Grande’s parents immigrated to the United States in search of a better life and left her behind in Mexico. The story is about two women who meet at the border. Juana Gracia a Mexican had gone to look for her father who left for the United States to help her at the border. Juana lives in her hometown after her mother descends into violence and alcoholism while her brother is claimed by the moneylender. While on her way she meets Adelina Vasquez an American who is a prostitute in Tijuana who goes to Mexico in search of her father and reunites with her mother as well. The novel focuses on the controversial issues of immigration and how immigrants have to go through many struggles in life so as to have a better life with their families.

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Overview of Across a Hundred Mountain

The novel focuses on the travails of immigration faced by the ten-year girl and a thirty-year-old woman. Also, it narrates the hard fate for the family member left behind and the danger of crossing the American border. Moreover, it explains the broken sense of home for those migrants who have made it to the United States. The novel shows how poverty can encourage children to run away from how in search of the good life. For example, when the flood hits the area Lupe is unable to keep the water out of their cardboard so she tells Juana to stay on the table with baby Anita who later dies due to drowning in the water. Their father goes to the north in search of a job but does not return this forces Juana to sell quesadillas at the train station so as to support her mother. Thus, poverty is a core issue that contributes to children dropping out of school and puts them in circumstances that can make them involved in immoral activities such as prostitution.

Across A Hundred Mountain: Role of Women in Society

The book shows how women are still disrespected in society and are seen as objects. Don Elias the creditor offers Lupe two options for him to repay him his loan either to become his whore or be jailed. It shows how women face male brutality, abuse, and abandonment in society. Moreover, the novel shows how the rich and powerful in the community oppress the poor. For instance, Don Elias kidnaps Juana’s baby brother. The story also focuses on how hard it is for a person to lose a close family member. It can be seen where Lupe turns into alcoholism and she became violent after losing her child.


In the book, the conclusion of one chapter in most cases is the same as the introduction of the next chapter. Moreover, the author uses more vivid images to bring out the experiences of Juana and Adelina. The character felt real and I kept guessing what would happen next. At some point I cried while reading the book because of how women in the novel allowed poverty to get in their minds thus, engaging in immorality to have a good life. After reading the book I now have a better understanding of the controversial issues of immigration and how people risk their lives in search of a better life.

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