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Literary Analysis of the Chicana Language

Language goes in tandem with identity because it is an aspect that is innate and will determine the cognitive perceptions of an individual and a specific community. Although there may be conformity to modernity, the conventional ways of communicating the meaning of the words have a profound meaning in the Mexican and Chicana identity, as is portrayed by Gloria Anzaldua and Pat Mora through their literary works. Pat Mora has been integral in disseminating information about Mexican culture and the people’s thinking through poetry. Pat Motas was born and raised in El Paso. On the other hand, Gloria Anzaldua emanated from Rio Grande Valley in 1942. These elements notwithstanding, Anzaldua and Mora stipulate their struggle with gendered stratification and how language has been the main tool of oppression from the white people, as well as highlight the need to overcome silence in the Mexican Chicana community.

Correspondingly, language is vital in understanding how the Mexicans view white Americana. In this context, it is essential to note that the accounts of Gloria Anzaldua stipulate English as a mode of communication, one that is seen as traitors to the language(Anzaldua 87). The native Mexicans believe that they own Spanish and that it should be considered a border language that was naturally developed. To this effect, it affirms the importance of the Spanish language to Latinos. The divisions of the languages can also be seen when the Chicanasa are negated from owning their version of Spanish because it is considered to be incorrect and mutilation of the Spanish language. The same divisions can be seen in the diversity in culture because lingual identity also guides the cultural identity of the Chicana and the Latinos. Anzaldua writes passionately about what the language means and how she aims to preserve the language by speaking boldly. The bold affirmation means that the Latinos also seek to have their language considered supreme and not be considered a result of a mutilation of the main language.

Additionally, the phobia of integrating the native language that emanates from Gloria Anzaldua’s childhood has also affected her literary writing. A case in point is her reminiscence. She recounts that when she was found speaking Spanish in recess, she would face sanctions that included punishment of the knuckles. These accounts stipulated in the article” How to Tame a Wild Tongue” show the different actions that were vital in shaping their cognitive perceptions and the overall phobia of Integration of foreign language and how it also affected her writing(Anzaldua 35). The punishment for speaking a native language which an individual regards as having built their identity, will have a detrimental impact on the cognitive perceptions of the individual. It is prudent to note that most Mexican Americans in contemporary society will relate to the frustration fronted by Gloria Anzaldua on the lack of recognition of their native language. In this case, it makes an individual self-conscious of their speech and forces them to sift their language to conform to the conventional ways of the new society. It is not fair to have children conform to the new foreign language despite the language being the choice for the language of instruction. The native language is innate, prompting the writer to ask how she can tame a wild tongue.

Conversely, gender oppression is prevalent, as is expressed by Anzaldua, which men propagate. A case in point is the way the intonation of some terms favored the men in the new consciousness. The gender oppression emanates from the new consciousness is to be blamed for the gender oppression. In this context, some words such as “machismo” are intended to glorify the men and water down the impact of the women in the Mexican and Chicana setting. At the same time, a closer look and the detrimental impact of the new consciousness shows that the white community intentionally belittled the Chicana. It was down to the devaluation of their language and making the Chicana lose their dignity because they were ashamed of speaking their language. It is an aspect that was also highlighted by Pat Mora in her poetry “ Now and then America” (Mora 17). The superiority complex was imparted to her children by the American educational institutions, where they were taught that Spanish was not enough. It is why their mother feels dumb and needs to upgrade her education so that she can converse with her children, an action she was able to do seamlessly before.

The accounts of language superiority and how it impacts the cognitive perceptions of the native individual can be compared to those of Pat Mora and the poetry. In the poetry, she seeks to highlight the contrast between the native language and the perceived superiority of the following other languages. Mora contends that she realized her Spanish is not enough because of the gaps in understanding her children. As a parent, she ensures that her children are educated in American schools and are now proficient in English. The point of contention is that she can not relate to their jokes or have conversations with them because she feels dumb. Nevertheless, she also gets the drive to learn the new language but is held back by the fear of embarrassing herself while annunciating the words. The disconnect shows that there is still a gap between languages and cultural identities that should be squashed. Language should be considered a bridge in communication and not be inherently used as a measure of intelligence or to make the other parties feel underappreciated or dumb(Anaya 5). It thus goes to state that language should not be used to determine intelligence because it will end up destroying the dignity of the native individual.

In summation, the analysis of the Chicano Spanish language shows that they take pride in the cultural identity and dignity of conversing in their language. To this effect, the accounts by the writers show personal experience with how the dignity to speak their native language has been robbed. Gloria Anzaldua is one of the writers who stipulate their experiences with speaking their native language and how white people perceive them. Anzaldua and Mora stipulate their struggle with gendered stratification and how language has been the main tool of oppression by white people. They also highlight the need to overcome silence in the Mexican Chicana community. The lost sense of dignity is accorded to the gender oppression that the foreign languages also dictate to the native Chicana community.

Works Cited

Anaya, Rudolfo. “Bless Me, Ultima .”2022, Accessed 27 June 2022.

Anzaldua. “New Consciousness .”2010, Accessed 27 June 2022.

Anzaldua, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.”. Borderlands = La Frontera. Aunt Lute Books. 1984.

Mora, Pat. “Elena: Now And Then America .”2015, Accessed 27 June 2022.


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