“Los Gigantes”

This week we are reading “Los Gigantes,” a story I ran across in The New Yorker, written by T.C. Boyle. Boyle has authored 22 fiction novels, received his PhD and MFA from the University of Iowa, been published in numerous literary journals and received various literary awards, and teaches at USC. Fun fact: I went to high school with his son.

In “Los Gigantes,” a genetically large man signs a government contract to “breed” with equally gigantic women, and then confronts the consequences of his decision.

Questions to consider:

1. How does Boyle set up the world? How does he help us understand what is going on quickly, yet without being obvious?

2. In keeping with our “bull” theme from last session, what does cattle symbolize in this story? What part does the metaphor play?

3. Consider the commentary the story makes regarding “patriotism.” How are the metaphors effectively analogous to policies and measures  that countries currently uphold when it comes to war?

Happy reading!



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