Critical Essay Summary

Published: 2018-08-20 04:12:53
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US Mexico border

Thesis

The author describes the difficulty of her life situation, hence, the thesis revolves around the struggles of a woman living at the Southwest US/Mexican border where more than one culture resides.

Summary

Through the text, the author asserts her ability to maintain her sanity. The first chapter of the text covers the Aztlán, known as the US Southwest in the contemporary world. The largest group of Indians found in the USA reside in the SW US/Mexican boundary. A border refers to the distinct line that defines safe places from unsafe ones. The Mexican border restricts all those people beyond the reasonable threshold away. They are referred to as aliens. As such, these aliens go through violations of every kind like rape, maim, strangling or even shot regardless of their race, which may be Indian, Black or Chicanos. Only the white man has power, and those who identify themselves with them could escape harm. 

The second chapter describes the author’s rebellion and breakage from the struggles of the Mexican border. At a very young age, the author fails to conform to the society culture and as such faced a lot of tyranny. The author asserts that those in power create and control culture. According to the values at the Mexican Border, the women shows more commitment to the culture as opposed to men. As a result, women faced so many struggles and the author’s dream aimed at ending such malice. Members of the Chicana culture depict the fear of the supernatural to the extent that everyone followed every tradition to the latter. Following the text, the author expresses the fear the people have regarding the deviant behavior (lesbianism) expressible through their perception of a lesbian woman. In one of the tales, the author provides the description of such a woman as “half and half”. According to the description, such a woman turns into a male after every six months and following another six months, returns back to a female. 

Shicano Spanish language

The author orchestrates her rebellion from the culture when she exhibits her lesbian behavior. She, therefore, went against two primary cultural prohibitions which are sexuality and homosexuality considering that she is Catholic. Because of her trait as a deviant (or lesbian), she feared going back home and the ultimate fear is acceptance back into their culture. The author recognizes the fact that she is a woman of color who never lost touch with her home culture. She is not like other women who were forced to let go of their culture, and she equates herself to the turtle because everywhere it goes, it carries its home on its back. She points out that her culture mistreats women in the society and holds the man so high above them (one of the many things the author hates). 

The author further explains the struggles of a female at the border, still from culture. Every time she tried associating with people in English, they disregarded her because she appeared to be ruining her Spanish and vice versa. Those residing at the Mexican border began developing their tongue which is a means for those who were not Spanish or English could connect their identity to a language. As a result, the Chicano Spanish sprang out as a language and people who could comfortably share the values and secrets without fear. In their world, however, the young Chicanas who grew up with the Chicana Spanish claimed that their language is a poor form of the Spanish tongue. As the author states, the Chicana Spanish is a language used by bastards, hence an illegitimate tongue. The dominant culture (Spanish) regarded the Chicanas’ use of broken Spanish as foul forcing them to use language differences on one another based on the fear that they are simply mirrors of the next Chicana. 

Dead cultures

The author’s ultimate desire is to free herself from the shackles that silence the women in their culture. Raised at the Mexican border has shown the author so much to the extent that she clearly states that the Chicanos fear to speak and identify their language. The life at the edge involves three cultures, the white, Indian and Spanish. All the other types are considered to be alien cultures such as the Chicano Spanish. Regardless, a Chicano can speak lots of languages, and the writer provides a list of the languages she spoke while at home. The author also asserts that the only she can be hurt is if her language is put to shame. Otherwise, she loves her culture and would support it to the ends of the earth.

The author provides an assurance that her culture will continue surviving in the world regardless of the level of discrimination their tongue faces. She gives an example of their patience because of their incredible ability to go through hard times. Many cultures die when they face similar circumstances but because they know how to live “under the hammer blow” of another prevailing culture like Spanish. When other cultures die out because of the white man’s cultural influence, the Indians will be there to walk on the remains. 

 

sheldon

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