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.
The most popular definition of a Chicana is a Mexican-American female who is raised in the United States. La Chicana “has minority status in her own land even though she is, in part, indigenous to the Americas and a member of one of the largest (majority) ethnic groups in the United States. She is a woman whose life is too often characterized by poverty racism, and sexism, not only in the dominant culture, but also within her own culture”1 The term Chicana was coined during the Chicano Movement by Mexican American women who wanted to establish social, cultural, and political identities for themselves in America. Chicana refers to a woman who embracers her Mexican culture and heritage, but simultaneously, recognizes the fact that she is
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.
In Hurtado and Gurin’s article, we see the first label of Chicano as “the Chicano Generation” originating from 1966 to present time. The generation before the Chicana/o generation were the Mexicanos whom valued the Spanish language over English, Mexican customs, and their Mexican culture. However, the article states that the Chicano Generation, although derived from Mexican ancestry, critiqued the Mexicanos based on their “loyalty” to the United States. Thus, the Chicano Generation deviated from their Mexican culture, but did not fully assimilate to an American culture.5 Chicanas/os placed themselves in between, not accustoming to one culture or the other; thus, creating their own. From this, we can conclude that the early definition of a Chicana/o social identity is solely that of a first generation American-born citizen into a Mexican-American
Graciela Limón is a Latina writer whose parents are Mexican immigrants. She introduces her book with the following dedication “I dedicate The River Flows North to my mother and father, immigrants from Mexico, who made it possible for their children to achieve the Dream.” She is already introducing us to her identity and purpose of this book. Limón’s two distinctive cultures from being an American and having Mexican immigrant parents gives her a different way of seeing the impacts of immigration in the world. This allows her to excellently present a new story.
The Rio Grande Valley, the birth place of Anzaldua, is not as culturally diverse as any other place in the United States that is only populated by two languages: English and Spanish. But Anzaldua gives us a look into the way the Mexican-American or Hispanic community looks at this misconception by stating there are a vast array of languages other than just the main two heavy hitting ones. They all vary in how they came to be, where they can be traced from, why they were made, and the overall significance of all of them. This is why Anzaldua puts these eight different “languages” to show that not all Spanish speakers speak
As a Chicana, I am grateful that Puente introduced us to this type of material. Assisting us to further our comprehension of the subject and ourselves. Being a Chicana is a person who despite being a minority and lack of privileges they have the strongest passion to succeed. Where material like “Borderlands” is what stimulated my appreciation of different
Areli Padron Sanchez Dr. Ruiz How do we as a “Mexican-American/Latina/o/Chicana/o” population “stay woke?” Can one consider themselves a Chicanx without the Spanish roots? During the lecture, social norms were questioned and “The Truth” was revealed. As a population, we are often viewed down or underestimated and many of the times we do not stand up or argue, but why?
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
Gloria Anzaldua gives respect to the importance of language and its everyday use. In her own way, specifically with focus on the Chicano tongue, she is able to redefine the true values and meanings that language holds. There, however, is something that goes much deeper and beyond what is superficially written on the pages. Through a lens of Kwame Appiah’s “Racial Identities,” Anzaldua’s essay can be ‘decode,’ and the true significance of language can be reestablished.
In 1967, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez wrote “I Am Joaquin,” a path breaking poem that helped shape an identity for thousands of Chicanas and Chicanos through its verses; and served as a key component in developing the Chicano Movement of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. During this time, the term Chicano was specific to Mexican Americans and the movement was very male centric. The term Chicano is key to the Chicano movement, but the definition of Chicano has evolved over time and I would argue continues to evolve. The Chicano movement excluded women as well other’s with similar struggles, like Central Americans who can also identify with this movement. The Chicano social identity should not exclude anyone, it should only expand; to all those of other
Anzaldua employs her text to express her emotions in regards to various predicaments faced by immigrants during their lives in the United States. She approaches personal insights in regards to language such as expectations from the Anglo population when it comes to being an immigrant and speaking proper English, and the expectations from her Hispanic parents and their desire for their children’s success. Anzaldua’s work has several thought-provoking ideas within it, but this paper will be focused on the analysis of the following quote: “I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue-
In “Movimientos de rebeldía y culturas que traicionan,” Gloria Anzaldúa discusses; cultural tyranny, liminality, and resistance, all of which are highly relevant topics in both of Sandra Cisneros’ stories; “Woman Hollering Creek” and “Never Marry a Mexican.” According to Anzaldúa, cultural tyranny shapes our beliefs
This short story, Names/Nombres, written by Julia Alvarez is an autobiographical fiction story. It is an autobiographical fiction with added parts that didn’t happen, but it is explaining how complicated it was for her to adapt to the new culture. This is how she got inspired to write this story and choose the theme. Since every summer her family went to Dominican Republic, the exchanges between countries informed her cultural understanding. This also affected how she wrote this story.
French theorists Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray have suggested, women must "speak" and "write" their own experiences, but the speaking must also be related to the context (Helland). In her life and work Kahlo espoused the ethic of Mexicanidad (Mexicanness), picturing herself as nourished by her Indian roots despite the fact that she was the daughter of an Hungarian Jew and a Mexican mother of Spanish and Indian descent (Herrera 1990). As she sought her own roots, Kahlo’s personal pain did not eclipse her commitment to Mexico and the Mexican people. She always also voiced concern for her country as it struggled for an independent cultural identity. Therefore, from looking at Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States it provides evidence of an insightful understanding of the fragmented Mexican identity.