Stereotypes In West Side Story

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1. In Cofer 's essay, the incidents on the bus, in the hotel, and at the poetry reading were all humiliating situations in which people associated Cofer with the Latina stereotype. The drunk, young man sand "Maria" from West Side Story when he saw Cofer. The drunk man in the hotel sang "Don 't Cry for Me, Argentina" and "La Bamba" when Cofer was walking to her room. The lady at the poetry reading mistaken Cofer as the waitress and ordered coffee. These situations were caused by the widespread stereotype of Latin American girls being "hot" - referring to their appearances and the spicy food they eat - and the misconception that all Latina Americans work as maids because they are poor.
This binary stereotype appears in the movie West Side Story and properly relates to the title of Cofer 's essay. People think that Latinas are either like Maria, perfect and holy, or like Anita, attractive but unruly. Maria is the love of the main character in the movie while Anita is Maria 's maid. All of these situations somehow involved the stereotype portrayed in this movie and put Cofer in an uncomfortable position. They made her angry and offended but also inspired her to write an essay about
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Although Staples means no harm, his "broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket" (1) strike fear into the hearts of people who walk in the same street as him. They mistake him to be a "mugger, a rapist, or worse" (1) because of his tall, dark appearance. Staples believes himself to be an ordinary person who is no different from the rest. When others see him as a burglar, criminal, or a murderer, he feels offended. Towards the end of the essay he mentioned that he tries to avoid narrow streets and wears business clothes to make others feel comfortable and
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