The immigrants entering the United States throughout its history have always had a profound effect on American culture. However, the identity of immigrant groups has been fundamentally challenged and shaped as they attempt to integrate into U.S. society. The influx of Mexicans into the United States has become a controversial political issue that necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their cultural themes and sense of identity. The film Mi Familia (or My Family) covers the journey and experiences of one Mexican-American (or “Chicano”) family from Mexico as they start a new life in the United States. Throughout the course of the film, the same essential conflicts and themes that epitomize Chicano identity in other works of literature
Situated near the U.S.-Mexico border during the early twentieth century is the fictional setting of Fort Jones, the outskirts of which is where Americo Paredes’ short story “Macaria’s Daughter” takes place. Emblematic of the disappropriation of Mexican land, as well as the increased marginalization of the Mexican people, the overbearing presence of Fort Jones reveals the struggle for preservation that characterizes the Mexican-American community of the story. “Macaria’s Daughter” is the tragic account of what happens in a small community when the upholding of Mexican values and institutions, and opposition to Anglo-American culture, become more important than a young woman’s life. In this essay, I will argue that “Macaria’s Daughter” is a text
Gloria Anzaldúa's personal experience growing up in the Rio Grande Valley was inspiration for Borderlands, which was published in 1987. In this highly acclaimed work, she explores the effects of the Mexican-American border on her self-identification as mixed race, Chicana, a woman, and a lesbian. Shunned from each of these groups, Anzaldúa creates a new
I suppose when i used to think of cultural identity, i perceive it as what racial background we come from, what race we are. Whether it’s Mexican, Asian, French, etc… I assumed it meant what special foods we eat, and events or activities we participate in according to our background. Little did i know this is a misconception; quite a common one actually. Cultural identity is actually how you live your life and how you express yourself, the things you enjoy that make you, you. I am someone who enjoys many things, ranging from A-Z. The things that are most important to me between that range, are the ones i focus on the most, the ones that are most important to me, and define who i am.
This poem is about two children playing a game they call “La Migra”. “La Migra” is Mexican slang for U.S border agents. The name of this poem is very powerful. Throughout the poem, two distinct roles are played in the game. The two roles are the US border agent and the Mexican attempting to flee Mexico. In “La Migra,” Pat Mora uses cultural context and point of view in order to give readers insight on the troubles of the US-Mexico border. Mora also uses several literary elements such as imagery, tone, and setting in order to distinguish two completely different characters.
Selena Quintanilla’s father once said, “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans.” In today’s society, many have encountered the challenge of not being able to be who they really are because they fear not being accepted by others, more specifically their culture. But, what happens when an individual is part of two worlds that have just as many rules? Gloria E. Anzaldúa was a Mexican-American writer and poet who made a major contribution to the fields of cultural, feminist, and queer theory. Anzaldúa identifies as a Chicana and speaks different variations of Spanish, some of which she exhibits in her works. In her short story “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, she centers on the struggles of self-identity that
People have different ideas as to what it means to be of another race. Many individuals believe that race should have no affect on their lives today. People who have the same qualifications shouldn't be persecuted because of their skin color. Cultural identity is how people live in response to their surroundings and beliefs. For example, people that grow up in the heart of Tokyo are bound to be different and think differently than those who grow up in a idyllic setting such as Worland. Langston Hughes, Colleen McElroy, and Lucille Clifton all have different standings on the cultural standings of their times.
In her novel Borderlands, Gloria Anzaldua explores the nuances and complications that come with being a member of the Mexican-American community. Her physical home is the border between Mexico and the United States, but she acknowledges that the “psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest” (Anzaldua 19). “In fact,” she continues, “the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other…”(Anzaldua 19). Such is the focus of her text, the often uncomfortable meeting space between mainstream white culture in the United States and the indigenous culture of Mexico. The clashing of these two civilizations is personified in the mestizas, people born of both the United States and Mexico, of which Anzaldua is one. The novel presents readers with the often unheard side of a well-known story: the mestiza’s point of view on the issue of the U.S./Mexico border, as well as their struggle to form an identity when they partially belong to
Known for his defining role in the Mexican Mural Movement, Diego Rivera sought to create paintings that depicted the Mexican renaissance and socialist ideas of Mexican politics. After some time studying in Europe, Rivera was influenced by Italian renaissance artist Giotto to paint using fresco techniques (famsf.org). “Two Women and a Child” serves as an example of the theme he portrays in many of his paintings. While the fresco technique was predominantly used during the Italian renaissance, Rivera revitalized this ideal by including it in his painting of “Two Women and a Child”. Rivera’s use of techniques in Two Woman and a Child provide viewers with an understanding of the strength, pride, and perseverance Mexico had during the Mexican Renaissance.
When Frida Kahlo painted, The Two Fridas she was dealing with the divorce of her husband and embraced herself fully. In this masterpiece Frida illustrates her past and current self with divine detail with her skills of her brush. Frida creates a timeline through herself portrait of what was and is now by captivating her audience through the struggles of divorce, a heart condition, and losing herself. In the painting, she creates a picture in the audience eyes of her inner turmoil by illustrating through ethos and pathos.
From the start, it is clear that T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain aims to shed a light on the topic of Mexican immigrants in the United States. However, by having both a Mexican and an American woman share similar violent experiences with men, Boyle also places an emphasis on the less pronounced theme of sexual violence and discrimination against women, even in polar opposite realities.
Frida Kahlo created many glorious pieces. One of her most intriguing pieces is The Two Fridas. The image is quite symbolic and meaningful. Kahlo was a Mexican artist greatly known for her self portraits and the pain, passion and feminism of her paintings. The name of the piece I choose to analysis is Las dos Fridas, also known as The Two Fridas. This painting was created in 1939 by Frida Kahlo. Kahlo created this painting shortly after her divorce with her then husband Diego Rivera. It is said that the painting is used to represent the different sole characteristics of Frida. One of the images represents the traditional Frida in Tehuana costume with a broken heart, the other is seen as an modern day independent Frida. The period of the artwork
Subsequently, the contrasting imagery suggests that even if she were to re-enter the physical space of Mexico at that very moment, there would be no true ever-present Mexico to which she could refer to. For Kahlo, Mexico does not suggest either a conclusive national personality because that is impossible when the past was in ruins and the future was continually being compromised with modernity which is aptly represented in her painting as the roots of the Mexican plants stretched out and entwined with the power cords of the US loudspeakers (Volk 2000 177). As a result, the Self-Portrait not only complicates the notion of the emergence of a Mexican nation — which Rivera was working so hard to depict — but seems to parody his attempt to merge
Throughout my experiences in this course so far, I have had many opportunities to reflect on my own past and have begun to better understand my own cultural identity. It has been much more difficult to wrap my head around than I would have predicted it to be because so many things play into the construction of an identity that it can be hard to look at all of those separate pieces together. My cultural identity, like all others, is more complicated than it first appears. I identify as a white person, a woman, an American, a gay person, and a feminist, just to name a few. While all of these labels carry with them stereotypes and expectations, they also interplay with the cultural influences I was subject to throughout my childhood. So, in looking at my cultural identity, I am examining both my own labels and what they mean to me and layering on top of that cultural influencers that operate within my life and how the interplay between these layers works.