Green Chiles Analysis Essay

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There is a mysterious connection between grandparent and grandchild, one that transcends all ethnicities, religions, and socio-economic groups. In Jimmy Santiago Baca's poem "Green Chile", he explores this connection via the use of chile peppers as a medium. Baca personifies both green and red peppers to illustrate not only that special bond, but also the historical significance of said vegetable amongst the Mexican-American community. The speaker in "Green Chile" begins the poem by stating his fondness for red chiles. As an accompaniment to his morning feast, and as decorative items embellishing the exterior of his home. It is somewhat implied that the speaker is almost obsessed with red chiles and all that they stand for. "I can…show more content…
(II. 20-24) The speaker watches his grandmother prepare the green chili con carne in awe, knowing all along that she wants to please him, even if it means sacrificing her true love in order to take care of her family. Sexual metaphors aside, it is clear that the speaker loves his grandmother immensely and offers a sacrifice of his own. Even though red chiles are clearly his favorite, he is willing to clean his plate of green chili con carne, all the way down to the "last bit of tortilla". He needs to a tall glass of water to fight off the intense spiciness of the dish. He even hisses from the heat, but masks his pain in order to not upset his grandmother. In the end, the grandmothers slaving away in front of the stove allowed her to vent her repressed sexual feelings and desire to be young again. She relishes in the fact that cooking will always be her escapism from the sad truth of growing old. Although their tastes differ when it comes to types of chiles, the grandmother and the speaker share a love for the traditional Mexican-American garnish. They also respect each other, simply based on their actions. Here we have two individuals, from different generations, that bond over the age-old tradition of food and love. The last stanza of "Green Chile" speaks on the ritual of vegetable stands throughout the
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