American History 2 - The world as we know it is not the...

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The world as we know it is not the world that some of our parents or older people in the world have seen it. The story of America is no different, from any other country in the world. We as a nation have worked hard to be who we are today, and in today’s society. In the 1960’s America still struggled with the issue of racial equality and there were many African American leaders as well as Caucasian leaders who were in support of racial equality for all who lived within the borders of the United States. In the story “American History” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, we are able to visualize graphic depictions of racial inequality and the large amounts of stereotypes that were present during the 60’s. Cofer bought forth a story of creative non-fiction that explained to the common reader of how things were during the narrator of the story’s daily life and how her and her family was able to cope with the issues that had held them down for many years. There are many instances in Cofer’s story that suggest that the main character of the story was deeply moved by the decisions of many of the adults that surrounded her. Cofer also uses powerful, intense, and dramatic words to explain the life of a Peurto Rican immigrant during the 1960’s America. Cofer’s “American History” is about a girl Elena who is growing up in the very abusive world during the 1960’s and how she has to deal with being confused and lost in her own world as she goes through the stages of puberty, steadily comparing herself to other girls in her high school. She is ridiculed and made to seem inferior to others because of her outward appearance and also because of her nationality. Elena is the narrator of Cofer’s “American History” and through the words of Cofer is portrayed as being scared of rejection from many different people of different races. Elena lived in a building known as “El Building” in Paterson, NJ and she described the building as a “monstrous Jukebox, blasting out salsas from the open windows…”(pg. 346) . Elena struggled to find her own identy and was even more confused
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when President Kennedy was shot and killed, as the Peurto Rican community hailed Kennedy for being a man that wanted to equalize the races and provide immigrants with the opportunity to work and be an American. Cofer provides us with great scenery and graphic imagery to better explain the source of conflict that was affecting young Elena at the period of time in her life. She tells us that Elena during her ninth grade year in high school saw “only one source of beauty and light” (pg. 347) and that was a boy named Eugene. Eugene one of the other characters from the story who Elena admired and had a crush on, not only that she also looked at his family as being the perfect family and looked up to them for her questions in life. Throughout the story Cofer brought to us a great deal of foreshadowing, one instance that sticks out would prove to be
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American History 2 - The world as we know it is not the...

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