Women in the United States has come a long bumpy ride to get the equal rights as their counter partner, the men. One particular accomplishment was recognizing American female authors, in specific, Mexican-American female authors. The richness of Mexican literature expands to novels, memoirs, short essays, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and so much more. Mexican literature includes many genres, but a distinct theme that focuses on the personal aspects of Mexican-Americans are genres that centers around the culture. The Distance Between Us, is a 2012 memoir of the iconic contemporary female Mexican-American author Reyna Grande. The memoir centralizes on the life and perspective of young Reyna watching her family drift apart from one another, and how she perseveres through tough situations. By reading through the eyes of a female, the readers are able to understand the innocence of a young girl, to watching her grow up to become a mature woman with values in comparison to her mother.
We all have some form of language limitations, no matter where we come from and what our background is. “Mother tongue” by Amy Tan and “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua both share similar themes in their stories that demonstrate how they both deal with how different forms of the same language are portrayed in society. In both stories they speak about what society declares the right way of speech and having to face prejudgment, the two authors share their personal experiences of how they’ve dealt with it. Both authors go in detail about their ethnic backgrounds and blend their language for us to better understand throughout their story.
The book, Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua is considered a semi-autograph. Anzaldua uses some of her stories to explain her points which are included in the first part of the book. However, she also uses poems and prose as sources which are located in the second part of the book. Anzaldua uses her stories, poems and prose to explain the division among Mexican cultures or language, gender and sexual orientation.
Growing up, I never believed I had an identity. When I delve back to my earliest of memories, both English and Spanish made an appearance in my dialogue. Because my life had always remained constrained in a blend of American and Mexican culture, it was difficult to distinguish exactly which group I resonated most with. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, it is an internal war that is fought constantly. Whoever could predominantly show their Mexican heritage would be held at a great regard for not neglecting their roots. At the same time however, there was an ongoing battle of who could illustrate the American dream at its acme. In other words, whoever could boast their upper middle-class status and materialistic possessions was also greatly revered.
Mestizaje is defined by the interbreeding and cultural intermixing of Spanish and American Indiana people. The term dates back to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. Mestizos were the sons and daughters of the foreigners and native women. Progressively, “more and more children were produced by marriages, informal liaisons, casual affairs, and rapes” (Mundy). The mestizos grew in numbers and became a dominant presence in colonial Spanish America. This term carried a negative connotation; for instance, in the 17th century a Spanish dictionary defined mestizo as a mix of different species of animals. They became categorized as impure and undesirable. In modern times, the term has evolved to more positive meanings. Today, Mestizaje
In the 1960s, the Chicano movement started to gain momentum. Chicanos began banding together to protect others while discovering their own self-identity. One source says that, a newfound gratitude for Chicano culture was detected. It goes on to state that, a “cultural rebirth was proclaimed” which had been provoked by “rediscovery” and an acknowledgement of their collective indigenous roots. The author adds that, it was a chance to uncover “a positive self-definition” (Rodriguez, "Building Aztlan: Chicano Movement Springs Back to Life"). Furthermore, in the 1960s, nothing could slow down the Chicano movement once it had sparked. So much so, that Rodriguez claims that it “led to colleges and universities becoming targets of protest” and the
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 “La Prieta” tell her struggles with identity by talking about prejudices she dealt with while growing up. These prejudices, such as colorism, sexism, and heteronormativity, were not only held by people outside her social groups but within them as well. Anzaldúa goes on to explain the way identity is formed by intersecting factors and not only one aspect of someone’s life therefore denying one factor of identity can cause isolation and self-hatred.
Julia Alvarez attempted to rewrite the immigrant experience from the female perspective by sharing her own life story as an immigrant seeking asylum from her oppressive dictatorship ruled homeland, the Dominican Republic. Alvarez’s novel How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is a semi-autobiography of her own journey to and from the Dominican Republic to the United States by drawing on her own experiences and observations about the fractured sense of identity accompanying immigration to the United States.
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
Gloria Anzaldúa, in her chapter, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” in the book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, argues that one’s language can be defined by identity and maintaining the tongue is important to not let oppression suffocate the language. She supports her claim by first giving an allegory of her visit at a dentist's office and how the doctor wants to fix her tongue, then revealing how some Chicanos are trying to “fit in” and not be Chicanos, and finally throughout the chapter Anzaldua stops translating to prove a point that even though she is facing oppression, she will not change. Anzaldua’s purpose is to show the relationship between identity and language in order to show that even though that one might be oppressed to not
In her poem “Borderlands,” Gloria Anzaldua strategically exposes readers to the true form of the Borderlands region as she conveys the internal incongruity that is rife with this state. As she characterizes the nature of the Borderlands, extending the idea of the Borderlands from a geographical region to an extensive social phenomenon, Anzaldua emulates an experience that is shared by many; conquered by fear.
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.
Our lives leads us in different directions. Nwoye at first struggled with identity, but then he found himself through Christianity. For the first time he desired something other than satisfying his father. He became a strong independent man. His true personality showed through. In some people’s cases, things fall apart, but in others, like Nwoye, he found his true purpose in life.