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Anzaldua: AnalysisResearch Paper

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Gloria Anzaldua -- Borderlands La Frontera

The objective of this study is to use the work of Gloria Anzaldua entitled "Borderlands La Frontera and two additional research essays and discuss how Anzaldua explains in her autobiography how she feels excluded or marginalized because she is a Chicana in the United States, an American in Mexico a descendent of native peoples and not simply of Spanish conquistadors with all the rich Indian mythologies of evil and good, exhibiting traits of both masculinity and femininity. Even her own language has no clear pronouns for women, she explains. Finally, as a lesbian, she feels the religion of her ancestor -Catholicism- has no place for her. Chapter seven described how Anzaldua constructs a new mestiza consciousness to deal with or combat such systemic marginalization.

INTRODUCTION

Anzaldua addresses the differences between the good and evil contained in the female deities and how the Western culture expresses lack of respect for spirituality among various religions and how the class in power within the culture attempt to force those who have conflicting realities to choose the dominant reality of the culture and society or in other words to choose that which is held to be rational.

Those who are in power utilize the factor of shame and according to Anzaldua "We lose something in this mode of initiation, something is taken from us: our innocence, our unknowing ways, our safe and easy ignorance. There is prejudice and a fear of the dark, chthonic (underworld) & #8230;" (61). This split reality is not accepted by Anzaldua who holds a high level of contempt for the Aztec society and culture which is a male dominated society and Anzaldua writes: "the male-dominated Azteca-Mexica culture drove the powerful female deities underground ...they divided her who had been complete, who possessed both upper (light) and underworld (dark) aspects" (49)

The class in power, according to the work of Anzaldua criticizes grasps what does not belong to them and steals it including their distortion of meaning in its original form and her writing is such that supports a life that is somewhere in between in what she terms to be the 'borderlands' and speaks of how one may live in the area of the reality on the surface yet at the same time have the vision to see the reality beneath the surface. She points out that only those who have been ostracized due to their differences in belief that conflicting with the norm or rational of society are enabled with this specific type of vision.

CHAPTER 7

Rigidity

Anzaldua writes that she discovered that grasping concepts or ideas bound by rigidity are not within her ability and explains how the "borders and walls that are supposed to keep the desirable ideas out are entrenched habits and patterns of behavior; these habits and patterns are the enemy within. Rigidity means death. Only by remaining flexible is she able to stretch the psyche horizontally and vertically." (101)

According to Anzaldua 'La mestiza constantly has to shift out of habitual formations; from convergent thinking, analytical reasoning that tends to use rationality to move toward a single goal to divergent thinking characterized by movement away from set patterns and goals and toward a more whole perspective, one that includes rather than excludes." (101)

Tolerance for Ambiguity and Contradictions

The new mestiza, states Anzaldua manages through the development of a "tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity. She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Anglo point-of-view." (101) In other words, she learns to move from and within cultures in order to survive and in essence "sustains contradictions." (101) However, at times the tolerance for ambiguity is removed by events that are incredibly painful or intense and this results in the ambivalence being inverted or resolved. (102) This is the place where the mestiza is said to stand and to be "where phenomena tend to collide. It is where the possibility of uniting all that is separate occurs." (102)

The Self's Third Element

Rather than being a place where are the pieces come back to one another and rather than being a juncture where powers that are conflicting balance, this place is such that results in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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