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Analysis Of `` American History `` By Judith Ortiz Cofer

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Tragedy has the ability to simultaneously bring people together and push them apart. Well, such is essence when Judith Ortiz Cofer, the writer of “American History,” explores the theme of tragedy while she dwells upon the day tragedy struck the world. A numerous amount of people in her community were devastated by the unexpected death of former President John F. Kennedy, as they agreed with his stance against racial discriminations and prejudice. However, Cofer lacks the understanding of discrimination towards her culture, race, and gender. Rather than collectively facing the tragedy of JFK’s death, she is more taken by her own tragedy; being shunned by the mother of her neighborhood crush, Eugene. Recognizing that Cofer is ignorant to…show more content…
Recognizing her daughter’s ignorance, Cofer’s mother warns her by stating: “‘You are forgetting who you are, Niña. I have seen you staring down at that boy’s house. You are heading for humiliation and pain’” (972). Her awareness of racial prejudice leads her to warn Cofer of visiting Eugene’s house because she does not want this pain to inflict on her daughter. It is necessary for Cofer to be able to acknowledge the truth about of her culture, race, and class because people will discriminate others based off their identity, hence why her mother warns Cofer of visiting Eugene’s house. Not only does her mother warns her of the humiliation and pain that she will face, but she did not stop Cofer from leaving the house. Cofer needs to understand the circumstances that comes from her identity because it is essential to her coming of age. Instead, Cofer is walking into a reality, the true pain and humiliation, blinded after ignoring her mother’s warning.

Essentially, the outcome from Cofer’s encounter with Eugene’s mother takes a drastic turn in her life and it leads her break her innocent mind. When Cofer arrives at Eugene’s house, her mother approaches her with an unpleasant welcoming. For instance, Eugene’s mother questions where Cofer lives while she “pointed up to El Building, which looked particularly ugly,
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