Elias Miguel Munoz’s and Omar S. Castaneda’s essays in Muy Macho

Decent Essays

The problem of cultural adaptation is extremely complicated. In diverse situations immigrants are forced to question their original belief system due to the pressure of their new environment. Elias Miguel Munoz’s and Omar S. Castaneda’s essays in Muy Macho capture’s two interesting aspects of the internal war happening within the common immigrant. Both essays analyze the effect of the American society on the macho image. However Munoz deals with a second-generation crisis; whereas Castaneda’s essay is interested in the first generation immigrant’s feelings. In other words, while Munoz confronts the macho father, whom he feels disconnected from; Castaneda tackles his own cultural identity. Yet they seem to arrive at different conclusions: …show more content…

The aggression becomes what the white population perceives as Macho behavior, instead of the rich underlying cultural heritage. It is true that the American democratic system is a relatively peaceful system, especially when it comes to communication. Competition and aggression has been pushed behind the scenes of business and academic discourse, the arena of money and intellect. Castaneda argues that immigrants can hardly compete in either one of these arenas. Specifically, the intellectual fight is lost a priori as immigrant language is considered a type of interest. “It may be some time before different modes of speaking and their voluble implications are given equal footing in this America. It is and ideal to strive for, this vision of a less-condemning attitude for those behaviors or modes of speaking that are not within the “norm” of this country. (Castaneda 50)” By using the words less-condemning, the Guatemalan writer points to the negative perception of immigrant speech, as if it this English was substandard. This way most immigrants are simply not allowed to express themselves; and this is one handicap that is extremely hard to overcome. Nevertheless Munoz argues that the solution to this evident social problem lies not within the Macho style. He sorrowfully observes his father’s inability to exist in American society. As a result, he decides to take another path of development. This path is of conformity, which need not

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