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 …show more content…
In the altar’s center is “a plaster image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, quarter-life size, its brown Indian face staring down on the woman” (Paredes 23). The implication of the stare is of criticism as the Virgin, symbolic of an ideal Mexican womanhood, looks down on Marcela, whose Anglo features starkly contrast with the Virgin’s, and whose actions are in opposition to the values that she represents. This carefully constructed scene is meaningful. Marcela’s lifeless body lies between the bed and the altar, and opposite to the altar is Marcela’s shrine dedicated to Hollywood movie stars. These are the visual images of the opposing forces that characterize the Mexican-American struggle for resistance against American cultural hegemony. The altar of the Virgin represents Mexican feminine ideals, and the shrine of Hollywood movie stars showcases American ones. Marcela herself lies “between” these two altars/shrines, distinct from neither one nor the other, and belonging to neither (Paredes 23). These relationships of proximity, of going between, are symbolic of the Mexican-American experience at the time, and is paralleled by the distinct, yet interconnected spaces of the Anglo Fort Jones and the surrounding Mexican-American community. The image of the Virgin, and the layout of the shack where Marcela’s body is found are representative of the conflict between Mexican and American culture represented in this story, while Marcela’s death expresses the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Many of us, of the Mexican American culture, can say that we have heard the story of “La Llorona,” so the title alone is something we are familiar with. The book is also made of short stories that Cisneros creates using her Mexican American heritage and background; she also uses bilingualism and biculturalism in her stories. Many of the stories and poems written by Sandra Cisneros are culturally relevant and were created with her culture and heritage in mind. Cisneros has made contributions to society and to both American and Mexican American literature. Her contributions to both American literature and society by Cisneros are her books My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Loose Woman: Poems, Have You Seen Marie?, and many others.
The story goes that on December 8th, 1534, on a hill next to Mexico City, a figure showed itself to the indigenous boy Juan Diego (Peterson, Virgin 39) The figure spoke in the boy’s native language, Nahuatl, and asked for a church to be built in her honor on the exact same spot (Peterson, Virgin 39). Almost five centuries later someone who travels to Mexico will not only find a basilica built in the name of the Virgin of Guadalupe, but will encounter thousands of images and representations of her throughout the whole of the nation. What is now known as Mexico’ mother of the nation’ is a dynamic icon that has been reinterpreted many times throughout Mexican history (King 1-9). In this thesis I will investigate and analyze representations of
Our Lady of Guadalupe serves as a role model for many in today’s society. Numerous aspects of Mary’s life, most especially during her encounter in Guadalupe, Mexico to the poor Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, are so remarkable that they have increased my faith dramatically, as they show how she is present everyday in our lives and can appear to anyone, ranging from the rich to the poor. It is especially incredible that the Virgin Mary’s Tilma still looks brand new, without any fading, and it has been around since 1531. The movie shows the actual Tilma in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and the Tilma still has vibrant colors and is intact.
We hear the word romance and instinctively, we think about love, passion, marriage, and women. In his essay “Mexicans, Foundational Fictions, and the United States: Caballero, a Late Border Romance,” Jose E. Limón describes how the novel Caballero exemplifies different aspects of the historical romance genre, including the idea that the marriages presented in the novel between American men and Mexican señoritas can be seen as a “consolidation of the groups they semi-allegorically represent” (Limón 350). I agree with Limón’s interpretation of the intermarriages between the Mendoza y Soria girls and the Americanos symbolizing both cultures coming together and foreshadowing change. However, I would add that González and Raleigh present the intermarriages as characteristic of the two subcategories of the historical romance genre: fantasy and realism. By analyzing the passion and sexual desire, as well as the political and social changes prevalent in the time period, González and Raleigh are able to fully develop the narrative of a Mexican American historical romance novel.
Juana Ramírez y Asbaje, otherwise known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is an extraordinaryfigure in the history of Spain and vice-regal Spanish-America. Most widely known as a poet, Sor Juana offers a wide array of literary works that serve as a look into the dynamic world of seventeenth-century Hispanic literature. Considered the last great author of Spain’s Golden Age,Sor Juana and her influence contributed to creating a Mexican identity in the New World. In the process of studying and analyzing her literary works, I owe much to both feminist scholarship and post-colonial theory and criticism. Feminist scholarship views the nun as a foremother for femalewriters and the first woman to speak out for the intellectual rights of women in education.
Rodriquez expresses a deep nostalgia for his loss of his private life. He encapsulates the private sphere with the Spanish language, familial relations, ethnicity, and the Chicano identity. Spanish becomes an intimate and romanticized notion of his culture, he fears the meaning is lost in translation, “The problem was ... that though I knew how to translate exactly what she had told me, I realized that any translation would distort the deepest meaning of her message: It had been directed only to me. This message of intimacy could never be translated because it was not in the words she had used but passed through them” (31). Rodriguez’s inability to distinguish between ethnicity and race is problematic.
In the late 1990’s a new trend developed in the Latin American films, as there was a sharp shift from the political focus to small stories featuring the struggles of individuals in the society. Prior films exhibited scenes exploring random events and their impacts on the society using nihilistic individuals. ‘Days of Santiago,’ which is a film, directed by Josue Mendez and ‘The Whore and the Whale,’ directed by Luis Puenzo are two examples of contemporary films focusing on the lives of few specific individuals to portray the struggle of Latin Americans in the 1990’s. These two movies uncover emotional rawness and create several themes synonymous with the lives of the Latinos in America but only visible through the lives of the characters. Themes
In Mexican American society , women are deemed inferior to men, evident in traditional family roles, the male is the head of the family who provides for the family , while the woman stays at home to look after the children she is expected to provide for her husband . In the third vignette of ‘The House on Mango Street’ titled ‘Boys and Girls’ the reader is informed of the division between men and women when Esperanza refers to herself and her sister Nenny , and her brothers, “They’ve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can’t be seen talking to girls”. The male dominance begins at a very young age.
Sandra Cisneros’ “Mericans” is a short story about how a young American girl is struggling to find her own cultural identity. Through a number of images and ideas, Cisneros had illustrated the girl’s struggles. In the story, Micaela stands outside of her family’s church, which goes to clarify that she feels like an outsider even though she is of Mexican descent. The children in the story embrace American culture than a native culture with the use of comic characters. Micaela struggles to understand her grandmother’s heritage, and it takes quite an effort in doing so.
historical importance of Guadalupe remains a little unknown even to Mexicans. Many pilgrims visit the basilica and pay their respects to the Virgin. In fact, the Virgin carries such admiration and reverence that numerous pilgrims approach the basilica on their knees. The accounts on the Guadalupe remain different according to different people in Latin and North America. Feminism, Latin, and black lenses of freedom show understanding of the Guadalupe.
Consequently, Rosa’s father died in a horrible car accident. While arriving at the festival in Mexico city, she saw several beautiful decorations. For example, she saw many flowers, candles, Mexican flags, papel picado, and photos of people’s loved one.
For instance, Anzaldúa recalls a time in which two men yelled homophobic slurs at her brother and his partner on their first anniversary, to which she replies, “and they had to be Latinos.” (206) This is a prime example of two of Anzaldúa’s identities – her Latino and queer identities – at a clear collision. She wants to be able to support her fellow Latinos, however, when it is them who are threatening her queer identity, she feels ashamed and confused. However, she comes to terms with her conflicting identities by comparing herself to a “spider woman” with “one foot on brown soil, one on white, one in straight society, one in the gay world, the man’s world, the women’s, one limb I the literary world, another in the working class, the socialist, and the occult worlds.”
The Tortilla Curtain informs the readers about immigration and shows the audience what life is like on both sides. Throughout the novel Boyle displays the underlying theme of immigration and racism strongly through the setting, plot, point of view, characterization, and style. All these ideas are wrapped around the notion that Boyle shows in the story that the American Dream is nearly impossible to harbor if you are an immigrant because of how citizens of the United States act and treat this minority. The plot of the story correlates with this theme.
Taking these into consideration, with the mixture of the ambiguity and the violent connotation on how the first Mexican was created, has lead into a national inferiority complex and a negative construct of an identity for the vast majority of the Mexican population, especially males, to always remain close off to the outside world using their machismo. One of the most prominent authors that has explore this topic is Octavio Paz, who has explored in great detail and constructed a specific Mexican identity in his book The Labyrinth of Solitude. Paz experiences shame in the identity which was derived from the Malinche. He considers Mexicans as “Hijos de la Chingada”.