Homeland

1082 Words5 Pages
Caught Between Cultures
Gloria Anzaldúa’s The Homeland, Aztlán / El Otro México, explores the political and social impact of creating borders between places and their residents. Through use of her unique and diverse writing style, Anzaldúa is able to capture the struggle faced by displaced Mexicans and their posterity. Not only is she able to accurately portray their hardships, but she is also able to alienate her white audience by using both English and Spanish. This is done in a way that provides some insight into the cultural barriers that Mexican-Americans encounter. Her use of historical context illuminates the injustice that these people were subject to, while her incorporation of firsthand experiences and family history give
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This piece incorporates a unique blend of both English and Spanish. This interesting and different approach serves a very specific purpose. It is done in order to show white readers what it is like for non-English speakers to live in America. The discomfort and awkwardness that readers feel as they struggle to pronounce and understand these words, mimics the experience of non-English speakers living in America. “Con el destierro y el exilio fuimos desuñados, destroncados, destripados- we were jerked out by the roots, truncated, disemboweled, dispossessed and separated from our identity and our history” (Anzaldúa 45). Sentences like these are implemented in the text to alienate the reader, just like Mexicans in America feel alienated by the language and culture that is so unlike their own. Reading this short essay is not enough to capture the culture shock experienced by those who cross the border, but it subjects the reader to one aspect of the difficult transition. The use of Spanish also serves another purpose. The vast majority of white audience members are unable to understand the Spanish that Anzaldúa utilizes. This illustrates the white audience’s inability to conceptualize the adversity that these people have endured. However, members of the Mexican-American community that have undergone the process of assimilation, can comprehend the combination of English and Spanish, the same way they are able to
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