Mexican Immigrants And Their Mexican American Children Within The Novel Pocho By Jose Antonio Villareal
1334 WordsSep 27, 20176 Pages
27 September 2017
In English 101 from a Latinx Perspective, the course has focused on the experiences of Mexican immigrants and their Mexican American children within the novel Pocho by Jose Antonio Villareal. This short novel focuses on the Rubio family. Though the text begins with Juan Rubio as the protagonist, early on, there is a shift and the only son, Richard Rubio becomes the protagonist. The setting of the novel is the early 20th century. The events at the beginning of the novel take place in Mexico just after the end of the Mexican Revolution. The novel then shifts to Santa Clara, California where the Rubio family has settled to begin their lives in the United States. Though Juan…show more content…
In this quote, we see Richard breaking ties with his ethnic origins in Mexico. Instead, he takes on an American identity. He no longer sees himself as a Mexican, but instead sees himself as a Mexican-American. This is a textbook definition of assimilation, where one lets go of an identity rooted in a family history and instead creates a new identity based on the context he lives in.
Another instance in which assimilation is present is when the Rubio family begins to adopt more and more of American values, particularly Richard’s mother, in chapter 8. He describes the process as if their family “was taking on the mores of the middles class” and it “saddened him to see the Mexican tradition begin to disappear” (132). Not only does Richard’s mother start to gossip with neighbors, she stops taking care of the house and begins to question her husband, taking it as a symbol of freedom from the gender expectations back in Mexico. Villarreal writes,
Although he loved his mother, Richard realized that a family could not survive when the woman desired to command, and he knew that his mother was like a starving child who had become gluttonous when confronted with food. She had lived so long in the tradition of her country that she could not help herself now, and abused the privilege of equality afforded the women of her new country. (134)
This passage demonstrates the