In Gloria Anzaldua’s book Borderlands La Frontera, The New Mestiza, she shares her experience in a post-colonial world as a Chicana, a lesbian and a girl who grew up in a cross-cultured space trying to grasp her identity but in addition to make us rethink about what a border is and what are the consequences which include it. Anzaldua creates a “mestiza consciousness” as a dynamic able to breaking down dualistic ascendant archetypes. This idea is said to “hybridity”, a combined race, which will be the main focus on this essay.
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The significance of being a hybrid in a colonized area of the North America resides in the desire of finding harmony between one’s cultural identity and the conqueror’s model society. Before the warfare with the US, California, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas belonged to Mexico. As Anzaldua states, “ separated from mexico, the native Mexican-Texan not appeared toward Mexico as home, the southwest became our homeland once more” (Anzaldua 29).
In this area she lives in, the border, Anzaldua can’t expressly consider herself as Mexican nor can she really call herself American according to the norms which include language (English) and the skin shade (white).
What is her identification then? All she is aware of is that her home is in the Rio Grande Valley. Anzaldua’s mom used to discuss with boys as snakes: “don’t go to the outhouse at evening […] a snake will crawl into your nalgas and make you pregnant”. The Azteca-Mexicana culture is male-dominated; girls do not likely have much energy.
As she explains, “the first time I heard two women, a Porto Rican and a Cuban, say the word nosotras, I was shocked […] Chicanas use nosotros whether or not you’re male or feminine. Language is a mal discourse” (Anzaldua 76). Women are controlled by males in her society, perhaps this is probably one of the reasons she grew to become a lesbian. Men drove the highly effective feminine deities underground by giving them monstrous traits and by changing them with male deities, which reveals the shortage of power women hold in this culture. In addition, the creator explains that speaking Spanish was seen as an insult for Americans; “if you want to be American, converse ‘American’. If you don’t prefer it, go back to Mexico” (Anzaldua 75). The ironic fact right here is that Gloria’s ancestors have all the time inhabited the land that now belongs to the US, earlier than ‘white people’ came and populated the world.
The US itself was a colony with Spanish, French, British conquerors. Who said that ‘American’ must be the language you must speak to find a way to belong to their land? In addition, she needed to take two speech classes to get rid of her accent. She expresses that “attacks on one’s form of expression with the intent to censor are a violation of the First Amendment […] Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can solely be cut out” ( Anzaldua 76). Indeed, to actually be part of the American ideal society, she had to converse only English and eliminate her accent. However, her accent is part of the particular person she is, her culture and identity. Getting rid of it is eliminating her cultural background. In conclusion, Gloria Anzaldua explains how difficult it was for her to stay in a colonized land of North America, trying to match in their ideal society with out forgetting her personal culture and every little thing that identify her. Her sexuality, gender, religion, culture, language and accent are what represent the Self, what represents her uniqueness and defines her role in North America.