Break the Mexican ones. This notion is
Break Away Cultures are the roots that allow a person to remain grounded and stable, providing a group identity while allowing them to flower into an individual. But what happens when mixtures of opposing cultures come in conflict with imposing societal standards? What form will the culture take? In her book Borderlands/ La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldua uses poetic prose to relate her many years of anger from trying to integrate the clashing morals of her Mexican, American, and Indian cultures.Anzaldua ultimately concludes that for people caught in this clash, decolonization from both Mexican and American society, in order to create a new “borderland” culture, it is a productive and positive step toward psychological health. Before Anzaldua can give her solutions to the problems borderland people face, she must clearly demonstrate these people’s frustrations.
Anzaldua grabs the attention of her Mexican-American readers through their natural ability to relate to her argument, while she catches readers of different ethnicities by switching back and forth between Spanish and English, creating the same type of frustration that borderland natives experience daily. In the last paragraph of Chapter Four, “Movimientos de rebelidad y las culturas que traicionan” Anzaldua depicts how “colored women” through the years have been treated unfairly by their own people as well as foreigners.At the end of the paragraph she switches to Spanish to say, “Aqua en la soledad prospera su rebeldia. En la soledad Ella prospera” (45). (Translation: “Here in the loneness, she thrives in her rebelliousness.
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In the loneness, she thrives”). I have a small Spanish-language background, but in my experience reading Borderlands/ La Frontera, it was frustrating to need to refer to a Spanish-English dictionary. Yet through my frustration I was able to finally identify with the barriers that borderland people face.Through creating a language barrier in her writing, Anzaldua ultimately places all her readers on the same playing field, so her audience is more likely to relate to and understand her opinions. Once Anzaldua paints the picture of how the outside world constantly attacks the hybrid borderland person, she takes her argument further by personalizing it. Anzaldua describes a hierarchy within three cultures, stating, “Within us nd within la cultura chicana, commonly held beliefs of the white culture attack commonly held beliefs of the Mexican culture, and both attack commonly held beliefs of the indigenous culture” (100). Anzaldua places the white ideals at the top of the hierarchy.
Conflict arises when the white and Mexican ideals clash, thus allowing the white value’s to suppress the value’s of the Mexican ones. This notion is taken even further when the Mexican value’s come in conflict with the Indian value’s.Forced to choose which value’s to suppress, borderland people are experts at morphing ideals, but in exchange they don’t have the opportunity of feeling at home in their own skin. After describing the many negative aspects that arise from the morals of three cultures clashing in one person, Anzaldua promotes the idea of the “new mestizza.
” Rather than struggle with the moral conflict of battling cultures, the new mestizza is a product of the three. The goal is to leave behind the worst and adapt the best of the three cultures to ultimately create a stronger and more durable identity.