Gary Soto's Like Mexicans: Personal Experiences Essay

1887 Words Oct 19th, 1999 8 Pages
Gary Soto's Like Mexicans: Personal Experiences

My decision to write in response to Gary Soto's work, "Like Mexicans" was influenced for the most part because of the similarities between myself and
Gary Soto, and our families included. Gary Soto is a Mexican American male, who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in the industrial part of a town called Fresno.
His grandparents came to this Great Valley in search of creating a better life for themselves and their families. I am also a Mexican American male who was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley in a small town called Porterville. My grandparents migrated with their children, my mother, father, and their brothers and sisters in hopes of creating a better life for themselves
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Gary Soto's grandmother believed that just about everyone was an "Okie" if they were not Mexicans. Gary's grandmother, although I am sure she wanted the best for him was very stereotypical. She once again reminds me of my mother in this way. Their weakness in being stereotypical is almost forgivable and cute. I think it is more out of ignorance of others and there is no real harm meant. One thing we must keep in mind as well, is the time in which this story took place and the exposure the grandmother might have had to others outside of her immediate family. My mother lived a sheltered life and really never had the opportunity to be exposed to the real world. My mother had a habit of trying to make me believe that children who did not obey their parents were in general bad children. Parents were the divine authority and should never be questioned, since they are the parents they always know what's best. This was at least what my mother was taught by her mother and can you blame her for inheriting su ch an ideology. For her, everyone who wasn't Mexican, black, or Asian were Okies. The
French were Okies, the Italians in suits were Okies. When I asked about the Jews, whom I had read about she asked for a picture. I rode home on my bicycle and returned with a calendar depicting the important races of the world. "Pues si, son Okies tambien!" (page 696) I also found Gary's Soto's grandmother amusing because she would

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