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On the Question of Race - Quique Avilés

The Cuzcatlan nation, which is referenced in line 21, was the state of an early Salvadoran people who were finally conquered by Spanish Conquistadors in 1525 after over a year of physically defending their homeland against Spanish invasion.

With this in mind, choose the inference below that best suggests the significance of including the name “Cuzcatlan” rather than using the larger, more well recognized name “El Salvador” in the seventh stanza, which states, “I have a drunk man [in me] / asking for directions / he wants to go home / wants you to tell him / which highway leads to Cuzcatlan”.


The author uses “Cuzcatlan” because Cuzcatlan is a specific territory in El Salvador and therefore suggests the more specific homeland of the man.


The author does not use “El Salvador” because it would not contribute to the established tone of mystery and intrigue, which is so well achieved through the reference to “Cuzcatlan” and its allusion to a culture that once was, but now is no more.


The author uses “Cuzcatlan” to suggest his rejection of Salvadoran identity, as claiming a Salvadoran heritage would be too concrete to suggest his amorphous search for racial identity.


The author uses “Cuzcatlan” because it symbolically references the man’s sense of an unfulfillable longing for a homeland that does not exist through the drunk man’s lack of memory of where he is and how he can get home..


The author does not use “El Salvador” because “Cuzcatlan” expresses a spirit of resistance that best expresses the drunk man’s state.

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