Rhina Espaillat's Bilingualual Bilingüe Poem Summary

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In Rhina Espaillat’s poem, “Bilingual/Bilingüe”, she has described her cultural situation as rough. Espaillat discusses how her father did not allow for her daughter to speak both languages, English and Spanish, together in the house. The father demanded her to only speak Spanish inside the house and English outside only because he is afraid that the language will tear their relationship apart. However, since Espaillat considered herself stubborn, she didn’t want the separation of languages, she taught herself English. Being raised in a household with a different language than what the dominant language is outside of the household is difficult for some individuals, however, mixing cultural differences and languages into one is wonderful. Growing up knowing two different languages can be difficult for many Latinos, or anyone of a different descent. According to Espaillat, her father did not wish for her to speak English within their home, she stated, “My father liked them separate, on there, / one here (allá y aquí)” (1-2). Her father seemed to be strict with her when deciding what language she can or cannot speak. She continues to state, “as if aware that works might cut in two his daughter’s heart / (el corazaon)” (2-3). Espaillat believes that her father is afraid that cooperating both languages together will end up separating her heart in two pieces. Her father did not consider speaking two languages together any good for his daughter. The poet finally explains how her

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