Racism: The Estimation Of Self Research Paper Samples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Identity, Literature, People, Tongue, Language, Linguistics, Gender Equality, Women's Rights

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/15

Attitudes of self-determination are perceived differently by people in literature works and film. Gloria Anzaldua writing is focused on challenging readers and pushing them beyond their existing knowledge about particular situations and contexts. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” is the fifth chapter of her book, Borderless. In this chapter, Anzaldua gives her concern with various kinds of borders. She is concerned about borders between nations, languages, cultures, genders, and classes. Anzaldua writes, “So if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity-I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I can not take pride in myself,” (Anzaldua, p. 39). Here, Anzaldua is frankly arguing out her thoughts that the way people speak is intertwined with their identity. She is also against others abusing and disrespecting her tongue, because this hurts her much. Keeping her tongue wild and ignoring the shutdown of language borders is Anzaldua’s best way of being assertive and propping her identity.
The story “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” begins with the narrator paying a visit to the dentist, a metaphor that establishes the principal motif of the chapter. The dentist feels the narrator’s tongue is disobedient and unruly. The tongue keeps getting into the dentist’s way and disturbing his work. Due to this, the dentist notes “we’re going to have to do something about your tongue, “(Anzaldua, p. 33). The narrator is sent to a corner of the classroom for allegedly answering back to the teacher. He is punished for speaking Spanish when all he was doing was trying to educate the teacher on how to pronounce his name. This direct attack on the narrator’s form of expression leads him to come to the realization that people should be opposed to various injustices and should be confident to speak up against these injustices. He notes “Wild tongues can’t be tamed. They can only be cut out,” (Anzaldua, p. 34). The author uses this incident to show that a person’s identity, more so language, cannot be arbitrarily changed unless the people who possess the identity are wiped out (Lockhart, 2006, n.p).
In this chapter, the borderlands the narrator occupies: linguistic identity, language, and cultural identity, are scrutinized. Anzaldua begins this chapter with an anecdote about the narrator and the dentist. After the anecdote, she adds a quote from Ray Gwyn Smith that is centered on the page reading, “Who is to say that robbing a people of its language is less violent than war?” By beginning the chapter with a personal narration and then providing a citation that is interrogative, the author hybridizes her structure which is in tandem with her active exploring linguistic identity, (Lockhart, n.p). The author, further, effectively questions existing norms by using beautiful layering of the paragraphs. In the first paragraph, the narrator is involved in an altercation with his English teacher who openly admonishes him for speaking Spanish. In the subsequent paragraph, the narrator quotes her mother who mixes English and Spanish in her attempt to prod her child to speak English without the Spanish accent so as to fulfill the local schooling system goals. The narrator’s mother expression and speech can be closely be tied to identity, and thus, it can be said that it was expected (Wiederhold, p. 110). In the final paragraph, the author ends the first section of the chapter by declaring, “Attacks on one’s form of expression with the intent to censor are a violation of the First Amendment. El Anglo con cara de inocente nos arrancó la lengua. Wild tongues can’t be tamed they can only be cut out,” (Anzaldua, p. 34). The creation of a hybrid text that oscillates between varying types of written expression and languages enables the author to effectively change the discourse around identity and a make strong statement and this that linguistic identity should be respected (Lockhart, n.p).
The final section of the chapter begins with an epigraph stating, “"Identity is the essential core of who we are as individuals, the conscious experience of the self inside” (Anzaldua, p. 42). This section provides an exploration of how Chicanos have tried to establish their sense of identity-racial, linguistic, national, emotional and spiritual. The author uses the metaphors of serpents and eagles to give an illustration of getting past the borders. The author coins the name “Chicano” to catalyze people into distinguishing Chicano’s as people with their own distinctiveness. The author notes that Chicanos and other colored people experience economic challenges because they have not been acculturated. The Chicanos do not identify with either the Mexican or the Anglo-American cultural values, and this makes them alienated hence psychologically troubled (Anzaldua, p. 42). The lack of identity makes the narrator experience a borderland conflict that sometimes makes him feel like they amount to nothing since they lack distinctiveness. With this assertion, the author attempts to encourage the distinct identification of a people so that they can acquire an inner peace that is coupled with conscious practice of their cultures and appreciation of their language and way of life (Legault, p. 732-749).
Anzaldua arguments move beyond a feminist standpoint to assume coalition politics as seen through the lens of a female (Fowlkes, 110). The lack of a distinct identity of the Chicano population leads to multiplication of the identities. The new identities are Raza, mestizo, Mexican, and tejano. Each identity variant accentuates a particular aspect of the Chicanos’ identity. Mexican is used when the Chicanos know they don’t amount to nothing. This used to refer to ancestry and race. Mestizo was used when they wanted to affirm both their Spanish and Indian ancestries or when referring people who had an awareness of politics and were either born or raised in the U.S or both. Raza was used when the reference was towards Chicanos, and tejanos was used when they were Chicanos from Texas (Legault, p. 732-749). The initial argument the author had of empowering women to speak out is contradicted by this presentation of the various identities that cut across both genders. The chapter moves from feminist identity politics to focus on the pursuing of the identity of the whole Chicano community (Fowlkes, 112).
There are several critics who have misread or misunderstood Anzaldua on several occasions. The harshest critics of her work have been Chicanas and Chicanos. Both groups of people think Anzaldua feels possessive about Mexicanitas and Chicanitas and that that they are territorial about certain aspects. Moreover, they think they occupy the periphery where positions of recognition and scarcity are absent. The criticism stems from jealousy and insecurity among the two groups of people (Reuman, n.p)

Works Cited

Anzaldua, Gloria. "How to tame a wild tongue". 1990.
Fowlkes, Diane L. "Moving from Feminist Identity Politics to Coalition Politics through a Feminist Materialist Standpoint of Intersubjectivity in Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza." Hypatia 12.2 (1997): 105-124.
Legault, Lisa, et al. "On the Self-Regulation of Implicit and Explicit Prejudice A Self-Determination Theory Perspective." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33.5 (2007): 732-749.
Lockhart, Tara. "Writing the Self: Gloria Anzaldúa, Textual Form, and Feminist Epistemology." Info: Ann Arbor, MI: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library 20 (2006).
Mitchell, Angelyn, and Danille K. Taylor, eds. The Cambridge companion to African American women's literature. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Reuman, Ann E. "Coming Into Play-An Interview with Gloria Anzaldua." Www.tkdalton.com. Trinity College, 1 Jan. 2000. Web. 16 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tkdalton.com/uploads/5/5/3/7/5537810/interview_with_gloria_anzalda.pdf>.
Wiederhold, Eve. "What do You Learn from What You See? Gloria Anzaldúa and Double Vision in the Teaching of Writing." Entremundos/Among Worlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa, edited by Ana Louise Keating (2005): 109-120.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 15) Racism: The Estimation Of Self Research Paper Samples. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/racism-the-estimation-of-self-research-paper-samples/
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Racism: The Estimation Of Self Research Paper Samples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/racism-the-estimation-of-self-research-paper-samples/. Published Nov 15, 2020. Accessed September 28, 2023.

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