El Tonto Del Barrio

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The stories “El Tonto del Barrio” by Jose Armas and “El Barrio” by Robert Ramirez are two pieces that illustrate the lives, traditions, and hardships of Chicanos. Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. Like many other ethnic and racial minority groups, they have had to withstand discrimination in the work place and in daily life. In both stories, the most prevalent issues are poverty and the lack of education, which are directly correlated. These issues create tensions within the community and between the community and society as a whole. We deem education imperative for success in all aspects of society – social, economic, and political- and we also assume success, as established by our society, to be a synonym…show more content…
Through the essay he contrasts the warmth of the barrio and the coldness and rigidness of the cities. In the barrio, the fences are simply “fences and not walls… no sense of intrusion when cross them” (Ramirez 2). Furthermore, “the color-splashed homes arrest your eyes … [they’re not] revolting rows of similar houses” (Ramirez 2). The colors used to paint the homes of barrios represent the happiness and homey feeling that embrace the neighborhood. On the other hand, in the cities, the fact that all of the houses look the same represent the rigidness and industrious feeling of cities where people prefer to keep to themselves and don’t really know each other and where everything is mass-produced and there is no space for uniqueness. Additionally, he states that “the barrio is closeness ... familial relationships stretch out to immediate neighbors…and to all parts of the barrio” (Ramirez 2). They all support each other and have close relationships because “the barrio is a refugee from the harshness and the coldness of the Anglo world… a forced refugee” (Ramirez 1). The people living in barrios feel like outsiders and are treated as such. There are walls “both real and imagined” that hinder the denizens of barrios from making any progress. They are treated as second class citizens. Many Chicanos saw education as a way to break down those…show more content…
The communities in both stories were able to persevere through mutual help and care, but they were not by any means economically stable and let’s face it, as heartless as it may sound, our society around money. Inequality is a legacy that we have had to carry as a burden throughout our history and that we will continue to carry if we don’t learn from our past
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