George Washington Gomez Author Americo Paredes Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1292 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

George Washington Gomez

Book Critique: George Washington Gomez

Crossing the Delaware of the Rio Grande -- Revolt, Revolution, and self-hatred in the 1930's Mexican-American community of Texas good life is a life lived honestly, without being torn apart by self-hatred or false racial, class, and gendered ideals. A good society dedicates itself to the pursuit of freedom, and if necessary, to positive forms of revolution. A good society fosters communal ideals such as progressivism and tolerance and unity, rather than racial bigotry and class divisions. In other words, a good society and a good soul are dedicated to the eradication of borders, rather than the creation of borders.

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However, in the novel George Washington Gomez the borders of both nations, Anglo and Mexican, within Great Depression-era Texas, are dedicated to keeping up rather than dissolving such borders. The Mexican community is rife with fissures and borders and divisions, some imposed from the outside, some which come from within. These borders are geographical in terms of the proximity to Caucasian land and political, in terms of the proximity to Anglo government, education, and values. The George Washington Gomez of the title, a fair-skinned educated Mexican whose real name is Guanlinto, becomes an unwitting part of the struggle waged by Texan Mexican-Americans against border encroachment by the American governing authorities. Through this struggle, he comes to realize his own self-hatred and the way he draws borders and distinctions between his own identity and the identity of other Mexicans.

Term Paper on George Washington Gomez Author Americo Paredes Assignment

The Mexican revolutionaries of the novel fight to preserve their cultural integrity against impingements by Anglos seeking to profit off the Mexican land. The Anglos are motivated by greed and the arid quality of much of America's existing farmland. Their rapaciousness parallels that of the British colonizers to the American colonized -- hence the designation of the novel's protagonist as an ironically titled George Washington Gomez. Like the American Revolution as well, because of financial greed on the part of the colonial, dominating power, brother is pitted against brother, loyalist against revolutionary, and also father against son.

During the height of the military crisis, Gualinto must continually wrestle with his own values and beliefs. He has returned to his community after higher education, law school and the military, all ideologies that have taught him that his people's ways are inferior to white ways. One of the earliest examples of Gualinto verbally expressing his sense of self-hatred occurs in the context of a discussion over money for college, as Gualinto rants against his father, calling him an "ignorant Mexican," even though the boy is of his father's own nation, flesh, and blood, a Mexican himseld. (193).

The greatest internal and external crisis of the novel occurs when Gualinto kills the revolutionary and prison escapee Lupe Garda. symbolically killing his seditionist father, his own identity, and also the integrity of the community, and showing how the Anglo encroachment of law and education has fully impinged upon Gualinto's mind. This act indicates sadly, the fighting between Anglos and Mexicans have not only proved militarily disastrous for the community, but also created and exacerbated internal community divisions regarding skin color and gender

The author of the novel, Americo Paredes makes parallels throughout his book with the counter-revolutionary actions of the protagonist and that of earlier revolutionary periods of internal division in American history. For instance, on the very first page of the novel a man is noted as having a "John Brown beard," tying the initial description to earlier American eras of anti-slavery revolts in America, such as John Brown's raid upon Harper's Ferry. The Mexicans are called seditionists, like the earliest American Revolutionaries who fought for freedom against the British. (9) the novel makes it clear that the author Americo Paredes believed that the Texas Mexican community was not only subjected to economic and political abuse and exploitation by agents of U.S. capital,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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George Washington Gomez Author Americo Paredes.  (2005, February 8).  Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/george-washington-gomez-author-americo/12495

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"George Washington Gomez Author Americo Paredes."  Essaytown.com.  February 8, 2005.  Accessed January 19, 2021.
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