|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Women Racism Discrimination Immigration Social issue Books|
Literary wetback occupies an important position in revealing the major themes in Translated Woman by Ruth Behar. This section of the book specifically deals with the issues migrants and their children face in their daily experiences in America. Immigrants and their children are treated in a manner that demeans and depicts them as people who are not supposed to enjoy the social and economic benefits of the mainstream society. This can be seen in Esperanza's request to Behar, asking the author not to publish the book in Spanish or print it in Mexico. The preference to publish the book in the United States seeks to inform the readers that Esperanza wanted American society to hear her story. Living in a barrio in Chicago and experiencing violence Esperanza intends to present an alternative view that women from low-income environments face similar problems regardless of whether they are immigrants or citizens. She aims to reveal that family issues (e.g., abusive husband) and negative attitudes of society also degrade women. However, an immigrant woman faces more daunting challenges such as discrimination and inadequate income. Therefore, Esperanza wants to inform Americans how wrong it is to treat immigrants the way she was treated in Chicago that is why she insisted that Americans get her displeasure at their attitudes and prejudices.
The ability of Behar to take the story of Esperanza from Mexico to the United States is significant in the story as it represents the liberation of women through education. The author is a professor at the University of Michigan and traveled to Mexico on research about her story about the experiences of rural, uneducated women like Esperanza. The ability to move freely in and out of the United States indicates the value of an educated woman in the sense that such women are capable of breaking the ceiling that has been placed above them. The author can reveal to the audience a story about the life experience of a woman who lacked not only the opportunity but also the education that would allow her to overcome societal barriers. Therefore, the significance of bringing the story to America lies in the ability of the author to air women's issues, and this has been achieved through education.
However, the acquisition of education does not necessarily liberate people who have originally been downtrodden. So long as society continues to view women as others, their full liberation may not be realized. This is evident in how Behar completes the writing of Esperanza's story. At the end of the book, the author includes a personal story titled "The biography in the shadow" to reveal to the readers the general experience of women in society. In the biography, the reader learns that the author was always at loggerheads with the father who was abusive and never wanted her further education. The father wanted to relegate Behar to the role of the traditional woman and also did not like the idea of an educated woman as she considered such academic acquisition to be dangerous to his daughter. What is even more interesting is that she faced similar attitudes even at the university. For instance, she says that she went against the grain at the university in her relations with the students and this behavior did not please some of the staff at the university. Both the students and teaching staff at the university did not see her as educated and was often met with negative attitudes bordering on prejudice about her ancestry. This relates to the story's theme in that the experience of the author is similar to that of Esperanza because she encountered discrimination and viewed as uneducated because of physical appearance and gender. Such experiences emphasize society's generally negative view of women and how prejudice continues to impede their progress. Overall, educated or not, women face similar challenges even though there could be some variations from one case to another.
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