Miguel Angel Asturias, banned from returning to his country after the 1954 military coup, wafted during the same period from the early magic realist invocations of an animist tradition in Hombres de maiz to the wooden dogma of La trilogia bananera. In writing El senor presidente, Asturias shifted his identification from the urban ladino milieu to that of the autochthonous darkness of the countryside. The price of Asturias’s enlistment of Mayan realities into the assertion of Guatemalan nationhood is that he must write in a literary language which, though ladino, remains studded with words of Mayan derivation; his language ladinoizes his characters at the risk of alienating ladino readers. The burden of belonging to the ladino class of the Guatemalan nation weighs heavily upon the youthful characters. The equation of dispossessed Maya with the dispossession of Guatemala as a national entity, though submerged, is the ruling assumption of Hombres de maiz.