People thrust into environments where they know they will stand out. In Julia Alvarez’s bildungsroman novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1992), Junot Diaz’s short story “Ysrael” (1996), and Morris Louis’s painting Alpha-Pi (1960), all talk about the idea of trespassing and intruding into unknown territory. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents discusses issues pertaining to an immigrant family who recently migrates from the Dominican Republic. The Garcia family struggles to assimilate to the American culture and encounters difficulty raising their young daughters in a foreign environment. In Junot Diaz’s “Ysrael,” a boy with a damaged face is harassed and assaulted by his peers. He wears a mask, and the people around him are curious …show more content…
All three of these works examine the word “trespass” through three unique lenses. Morris Louis, Julia Alvarez, and Junot Diaz’s goal is to show how commonly humans tend to intrude onto unfamiliar settings, how it happens in different situations, and the importance of considering its effect on everyone. In Julia Alvarez’s novel How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, a Dominican family struggles to find what it means to fully belong to a foreign setting. The parents, Mami and Papi raise four daughters in an environment where someone’s uniqueness was never appreciated by the general population. Even as kids, the daughters realize that they are different as it is constantly highlighted by the teasing of their peers. In the short story “The Floor Show”, the family is invited to dinner by an American family. Sofia, one of the four daughters is aimlessly thinking when she notices a trend about the people near her: “She watched the different tables around theirs. All the other guests were white and spoke in low, unexcited voices, Americans were white and spoke in low unexcited voices”(179). Sofia feels as though she is intruding …show more content…
Ysrael draws attention from most of the people in his town for a distinct feature that sets him apart from everyone else. When he was younger his face was mauled by a pig, and ever since he faced constant ridicule for his unsightly appearance: “Ysrael was a different story. Even on his side of Ocoa people had heard of him, how when he was a baby a pig had eaten his face off, skinned it like it was an orange. He was something to talk about, a name that set the kids to screaming”(212). Diaz’s choice of words alludes to how people, especially immigrants stand out in environments foreign to them. These types of people tend to become alienated in a setting where people’s differences are not always embraced: “Roll him(Ysrael) on his back, my brother said, and we did pushing like crazy. Rafa took off his mask and threw it spinning into the grass”(218). Diaz also points to how people have fascinations with people who look different than them. It is similar to the quote: “the only green apple in a basket of red apples”. That one green apple gets all the attention, and people why wonder it is there. However, it is able to warp the regularity of the red apples behind to change the whole view of the basket. Diaz is able to successfully show how Ysrael trespassing onto the land not only affects him but the people around him. Interestingly, all
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In the article, “Breeds of America: Coming of Age, Coming of Race,” which was first published in the Harper’s magazine, William Melvin Kelley recalls his “confusing” childhood of being a colored citizen in the United States. He begins his memoir by portraying a simple skin comparison with his friends. An Italy kid was blushed because he had a same brown skin color as Kelly does under the sun. Kelly raised a question about that blush: why would brown skin make the Italy kid embarrassing? Then Kelly introduces the unfair collision of race and culture.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is mainly about four girls named Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia and how they are forced to move to the United States of America. The novel expresses how they struggle adapt and the challenges they face during this transition. The challenges they face are quite similar to the discriminations that black people experienced during those times. The family originally lived in the Dominican Republic in a big house with maids.
This story is exactly what Julia Alvarez went through. It’s her life story. In the book Yolanda plays Julia’s role. The story relates accurately to how the family struggled having to adapt to the American culture. “As the only immigrant in my class, I was put in a special seat in the front row by the window, apart from the other children so that sister Zoe could tutor me without disturbing them” (“How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” 166).
“The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named María” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan depict the endeavors people take on in an attempt to integrate into society. Cofer demonstrates how stereotypes of Latina women have led others to misjudge her and explains the difficulty she had disassociating herself from those stereotypes. Tan demonstrates that the “broken” English her mother speaks has led others to think less of her and disregard her. One’s appearance instantaneously causes others to judge them. For some it is easier to blend in and be accepted by their community, but what is it that keeps some people from assimilating, and what effect does their otherness have on them?
“Passport Photos” by Amitava Kumar is an excerpt combining poetry and photography, and making it into a cultural analysis over immigrant conditions. The author explains complicated situations that immigrants have had to deal with when they step towards the U.S. and one of the main conflicts will be language. This piece has described historical moments, such as mentioning “Alfred Arteaga” and the irony of deportation and printing, cultural critiques, and the reality when it comes to the Hispanic cultures. Kumar reflects his book based on a significant image saying “Caution” in English and “Prohibido” in Spanish. In other words, the sign is telling citizens, “Caution”: be careful by avoiding danger, but then it is telling immigrant’s “Prohibido”,
Being “Different” Pat Mora, the writer of “Legal Alien”, evokes empathy in the audience to bring a deeper understanding of the world by using vivid imagery, juxtaposition, and code switching. Mora addresses cultural tension and identity crisis, explaining she herself, a Mexican- American, is not accepted in either Mexican communities or American communities. Mora illustrates, “Bi-lingual, Bi-cultural/ able to slip from ‘How’s life?’ to ‘Me’ stan volviendo loca’/… a handy token slipping back and forth,” (Mora 1-3/16-17).
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
The topic of this critical analysis us is the article ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue,’ by Gloria Anzaldua. She talks about the attitude of the Americans have towards the ways Chicano Spanish people speak, and the negative effect of this attitude on the people who live in the borderlands. She argues in her article, that people from the borderlands lose their identity in a process to be acceptable to the English speaking American society. To prove her point, she states various examples, and observations which would make it easy for people with different cultural identities to connect to her experiences, and understand the criticism she has faced in the process of “taming her wild tongue”. Anzaldua is a well-known advocate for art, and spirituality which she
Mericans written by Sandra Cisneros is a short story in which the internal struggles of being bilingual and bicultural are discussed and analyzed. Through the use imagery, point of view, symbolism, characterization, and character transformation the reader gleans the theme of the story. Furthermore, Sandra Cisneros addresses border identity, crossing the border, and knowing or not knowing that one’s home lies in two countries. The story uses narrative first person point of view and is told through the eyes of the protagonist Micaela. The successful execution of the entire story allows the reader to see the attitude changes from the main character throughout the story from beginning to end.
This place that offers harmony and all the secrets revealed is a sanctuary providing a long trip but the comfort of being at ease. In the novel Mexican Whiteboy, by Matt de la Peña, we are introduced to a shy, Mexican-American, sixteen-year-old boy named Danny. Who always feels some type of neglect by his two mixed cultures. Along with the wreckage of his ethnic identity, he has a problem overthinking everything he does; he wants to be more connected with his Mexican side. He asks questions about having
The stories of Junot Diaz feature various elements of social and personal issues that are highly prevalent in young Latinx men, primarily the compulsion and adverse effect of machismo, the poignancy of being an outcast in one’s community, and the lack of a father figure in a boy’s life. The first set of short stories prominently feature Ysrael, a Dominican boy whose face was disfigured by a pig when he was an infant. In “Ysrael”, he is the object of Yunior’s fascination, and the victim or Rafa’s (Yunior’s brother) torment.
The alienated feeling of being the “other” is another important symbol which plays a major role in the text as it unfolds the story and tells us about the immigrant experience. The short story “Eric” consists of numerous images that explain the text and act as symbols. Eric
In Julia Alvarez’s Antojos, is about a young Dominican American women named Yolanda who is visiting her homeland and family in search of her antojos or cravings which leads her to not only cultural confrontation between American and Dominican ways but being able to reconnect with her native identity. Yolanda was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in America. She travels back to her homeland for the first time in seven years with a possibility of staying permanently and “…live here on her own terms” (Alvarez 1304). Although her extended family welcomes her, her aunts and cousins openly criticizes her appearance and American ways, as she silently critiques theirs. Yolanda has difficultly speaking Spanish, stumbling over her words and
The poem “To live in the Borderlands Means you” by Gloria Anzaldua, describes from the author’s personal experience how society can affect an individual’s identity. The mixture of different cultures and races can isolate a person because it affects his or her identity in culture, society and how politics affects them. To live in a society zone that creates isolation because of race, culture and other background creates not only political problems, but it also
Garcia Girls Essay Rough Draft For the Garcia girls, like many children of first-generation immigrants to the United States, sexuality is a complicated and far-reaching issue involving tradition, family, class, and identity. The Garcia Girls are coming of age in the United States during a period in which classic American values are constantly being called into question by American youth; this is the 1960s, a time that will stand witness to the blossoming of the sexual revolution. The traditional ideas about sex and independence found in their Dominican homeland come under repeated assault, as the family begins the assimilation process in their new homeland of New York City.