In "The Hammon and the Beans" author Américo Parédes writes about the problems of Mexican-American children growing up in poverty. The story takes place around 1926 in a fictional south of Texas setting of Jonesville-on-the-Grande, under the shadows of Fort Jones. This setting is reminiscent with Parédes home of Brownsville and historic Fort Brown, established in 1846 to house troops during the Mexican-American War and later used to defend the border.
The story features child characters who observe, but do not fully understand the uneasiness of the adult world of south Texas. Our young, unnamed narrator sets the tone by describing his home which is his grandfather's dirty, yellow, big-framed house. He also notes why his mother hated it. "They had fleas, she said." He goes on to render how the people of Jonesville-on-the-Grande became in sync with the routine on the post at Fort Jones. "At eight, the whistle from the post laundry sent us children off to school. The whole town stopped for lunch with the noon whistle, and aft...
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