Essay #2 - "The Space in Between Growing up in the United...

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“The Space in Between” Growing up in the United States is considered mostly to be a privilege as so many people are not as fortunate as us. However, in some cases people of third world countries choose not to be a part of our on-going economic success because they fear they will lose their identity. Throughout Kimi Eisele’s, “The Space in Between,” it is surprising how her work in Mexico transforms her identity both emotionally and geographically. Her perception on how native Mexican children viewed the United States was drastically different to what they really thought the border signified. After reading the text, we can see not only how her own identity was shaped but also how the Mexican children’s identity was formed. Eisele uses her own personal recollection of events to engage us readers on a personal level so we can see how others view us as a nation and how our identities evolve when we enter theirs. Eisele’s curiosity about the U.S./ Mexico border is quite unusual in the sense that she obsesses over it. She is fascinated with these questions about what it really means to be divided. As she first crosses the borders she describes it as, “the foreignness was a rush.” (477) By describing it as a “rush” we can see how her obsession makes her feel as she enters another country. She recounts her visits across the border and what she felt like, when she says, “…I’d feel either pleasantly received or violently accosted. This, I suppose, is the mercurial nature of borders.” (477) We can see her idea of what the border represents and how these emotions shape her identity. In her mind, it is a significant
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division among a powerful country and a third world country, and as she enters Mexico she has this idea that she is somehow better than many of the people in Mexico. She describes crossing the line as “a certain sort of privilege.” (478) Which enables us to see her sense of pride for her country, good and bad. Her pride is good in the sense that she is proud of her prospering country, and bad in a way that she is privileged enough to be able to cross that line back and forth as she pleases. In reality, her pride could be offensive to these native Mexicans who might now have the privilege to cross the border whenever they want. We can see more evidence of her obsession when she says, “Figuring out what
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