Anthony Huynh - Anthony Huynh Professor Arancibia English...

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Anthony Huynh Professor Arancibia English 101 13 November 2009 Mexican American literature offers the perspectives of how Mexican Americans perceive themselves in dominant culture and reflect how they are typically seen as by others in themselves. This type of literature is known as an autoethnographic text. Jose Antonio Villarreal writes an autoethnographic text defining the title of his novel Pocho . The story follows the life of the Rubio family traveling the migrant farmer’s circuit until Richard Rubio is born. Richard is the focus of the novel, a youth whom spends a majority of his life trying to find his own identity. In the efforts of finding his own identity, he rejects his Mexican culture and assimilates to dominant culture being labeled as a “pocho.” Tomas Rivera offers the perspective of Mexicans in his autoethnographic text from a fragmented narrative . .. And the Earth Did Not Devour Him . These narratives are expressed in vignettes, short stories spread by oral traditions from other migrant farmers travelling the migrant farmer’s circuit. These stories mainly consist of tragic events told from the protagonist’s point of view with insight from strangers. The protagonist is nameless in this fragmented narrative due to the uncertainty of his identity at the present moment, having no sense of past or future. When he finally realizes or thinks he has come to terms with who he is, he then regresses back to doubtfulness. This analysis focuses on the recurring themes of education, religion, and collectivism Villarreal and Rivera discuss in their autoethnographic texts.
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Education comes to be a disadvantage to children with immigrant parents residing in the United States since there is a lack of formal knowledge to be passed down through the generations. Richard is well aware of the possibility that the rest of his life will be engaged in fieldwork due to his status in the American social system. Consuelo regrettably explains, “‘We cannot help you [Richard], and soon we will not even be able to encourage you, because you will be obliged to work. We could not afford to spare you to go to school even if there was a way for you to do it, and there is a great sadness in our hearts’” (Villarreal 61). Consuelo and Juan are disheartened because they cannot provide their son with adequate schooling. Richard’s role as a male in the family requires him to work and help provide for the family. Consuelo and Juan have high expectations for him. His parents want him to be educated and successful so they can have a sense of accomplishment for raising a child that contributes to society. The limitations of Consuelo and Juan’s efforts to integrate their son into the American educational system bring shame upon their consciousness. Consuelo confesses the humiliation they share, “‘And I am deeply ashamed that we are going to fail in a great responsibility-we cannot guide you, we cannot select your reading for you, we cannot even talk to you in your own
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2010 for the course ENGLISH 54637 taught by Professor Aguilar during the Fall '09 term at Mesa CC.

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Anthony Huynh - Anthony Huynh Professor Arancibia English...

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