Contact Zone Essay

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Caroline Kelly Professor Ober First Year Writing 29 September 2014 The Contact Zone The Holocaust happened because two groups of people were grappling with each and one was stronger than the other. Wars typically occur because two cultures disagree and choose to settle it, and the strong culture prevails. African American and Caucasian people used to be exiled for getting married, because they were different. There are millions of different cultures in the world today and every day is an example of how they clash. An author, Mary Louise Pratt, wrote an essay referring to these conflicts. Her essay made it possible to further examine these struggles. In works such as The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and “Family…show more content…
To be defined as autoethnographic, the speaker also includes and embraces the stereotypes that are typical for his or her culture. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is an autoethnographic text. From the beginning of the novel many Spanish words are incorporated into the text. “Que muchacha tan fea, she said in disgust, splashing the rest of coffee in the sink. Fea’s become my new name” (Diaz 55). As it can be seen from the passage, Diaz provides no background or explanation of the Spanish words he uses, only context clues. He does this to submerge the reader in the story. Using only the background of the sentence, the reader must think and assume what the words mean. In an autoethnographic sense, Diaz is explaining the Dominican Culture from his perspective. When using this method in novels the author teaches about culture from the way the culture works. Hence why he uses Spanish words with no explanation because a Dominican would not stop the middle of his or her sentence to explain the word he or she just used. This is an excellent method of really getting the reader involved and understanding. He also does this with the science fiction culture. Frequently in the novel Oscar would go on rants about a game or a book he has just seen, anyone with only common knowledge of this genre would have no clue what he is saying. That is exactly how it is supposed to be. By the end of the
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