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
A tongue is one of the most important body parts, if that’s what we shall call it, that a human being has. If it was not for the tongue, it would be a very quiet world. Gloria Anzaldúa, born in 1942, near the large Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, was bound to make a difference in lives before she ever knew it. When Gloria turned eleven she started to work in the fields as a migrant worker and then started on her family’s land after the passing of her father. In Gloria Anzaldúa’s the short story, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, she describes her upbringing and growing up in a dual culture society split in two.
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.
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. The fact that Anzaldúa developed faster than is deemed normal the first struggle in forming her identity.
Gloria Anzaldúa's personal experience growing up in the Rio Grande Valley was inspiration for Borderlands, which was published in 1987. In this highly acclaimed work, she explores the effects of the Mexican-American border on her self-identification as mixed race, Chicana, a woman, and a lesbian. Shunned from each of these groups, Anzaldúa creates a new mestiza identity which both allows for and encourages a synthesis of disparate elements of identity into a synergistic whole. A mestiza is a woman of mixed Caucasian, Hispanic, and Native American descent. This consciousness which encourages opposition and contradiction is made necessary by the conditions created by the geographical, political, and psychological border.
In “Se Habla Espanol,” Tanya Barrientos elaborates on her personal experience growing up in the United States. In the first couple decades of her life, Barrientos distanced herself from her cultural roots fearing that she would be judge and belittle. It was essential for Barrientos to fit in with the American society. Barrientos formats the short story where she is speaking from firsthand experience.
The Mexican-American culture has undergone a lot of changes over time. Through the studies by Anzaldúa (530) and Menchaca (45), it can be seen how the culture has changed from ‘Chicano’ to ‘Chicana/o’ and finally to ‘Xicanx.’ Resistance
This article examines Rudolfo Anaya, Tomas Rivera, and Reyna Grande attempt to capture the cultural identity of Mexican American by interweaving the lives of their protagonist and that of their families with religion, spiritualism, myth, and mysticism. The author compares the internal pilgrimage of the young protagonist from Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, Rivera’s … And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Grande’s The Distance Between Us: A memoir to find their shared identity as Mexican Americans by interweaving Spanish and indigenous religious figures. On The Distance Between Us: A memoir the author emphasizes on the way in which Abuelita’s Chinta role as the curandera gives peace to Grande after being indirectly abandoned by her parents.
Octavio Paz, a Mexican poet and essayist, is one of the many philosophers with a written piece regarding his understanding of Lo Mexicano. Paz’s “Sons of La Malinche” was first published in the Labyrinth of Solitude in 1950 and is a rather grim interpretation of the Mexican character, however, it captures the crisis of identity that Mexico was burdened with after the conquest. Paz uses the Spanish term “chingar,” (when literally translated means “to screw, to violate”) and its associated phrases to understand the conquest and the effect
Written by Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, is an opinion easy , a retrospection of her past and a story about identity and recognition of a wild tongue. The following is a rhetorical analysis and personal response of this easy . My analysis will be divided into 4 separate parts including intended audience, main claim, purpose and situation.
CRA: Anzaldua Borderlands 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. Anzaldua cogently employs the use of distinct structural elements within her poem as a form of illustrative depiction in order to express to readers the strenuous relationship between the inhabitants and their environment.
The tongue for every language is that inside the mouth, speaking words, meanings, and sentences. Both articles, being, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” and “The Mother Tongue”, touch on this subject. We see how these articles describe how language varies around the world yet both articles are different in describing this; both taking a deeper approach. Language has become a powerful tool used around the world and peoples interpretation of these various languages can shape that of who we are/how we view the people speaking them, shown throughout both articles. We see a perfect description of language in the first article, being that of, “A language which they can connect their identity to, one capable of communicating the realities and values true
Within each book, it questions the message of “culture and gender” (Louelí, “An Interpretive Assessment of Chicano Literature and Criticism”). Clearly, positive figures influenced how the Chicano community acted then and now. Rudolfo Anaya and other Chicano writers
He shows this through his many experiences with bilingual court and education. At the end of his essay, Espada concludes with a basic summary of what he has learned. Espada claims “The repression of Spanish is part of a larger attempt to silence Latinos, and, like the crazy uncle at the family dinner table yelling about independence or socialism, we must refuse to be silenced.” Through the summary the reader understands despite English being the prevalent language the in the U.S. today the Spanish culture is still being preserved through bilingualism. On the other hand Rodriguez argues that in order to gain a public identity, one must be willing to sacrifice some part of their own cultural identity.