Latin Hispanic Literature Essay

Pages: 4 (1393 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Latin/Hispanic Literature

According to both Robert Lee and Erica Aigner-Varoz, Chicano women have suffered centuries of oppression by the men in their culture. Indeed, this oppression is so ingrained in the cultural consciousness that men particularly find it convenient to simply perpetuate the paradigm of the weak and subservient woman. In addition to the advantage of having these women as servants or even a type of slave, such attitudes towards the female within Chicano cultures also show a basic stagnation of growth in this culture. On the other hand, Lee particularly notes that the movement of both time and development tend to be inevitable. The female and feminist paradigm for example has become increasingly prominent as themes in Chicano literature as well as the basic consciousness of the culture. The very fact that these issues are being considered in literary criticism, such as that by Aigner-Varoz, indicates an increasingly receptive audience, even if this audience consists mainly of women.

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In the story "El Patron" by Nash Candelaria, for example, the first-person narrator's wife is by no means a woman who relies on weakness or its pretense to obtain her wishes. From the beginning of the story, the reader is somewhat overtaken by the feeling that the husband is a little afraid of her when he mentions "that dangerous look on her face that usually made me start talking too fast and too long in hope of shifting her focus" (216), and follows this with the dark suggestion that "It never worked." This portrays Lola, the wife, as a woman who is strong-willed and will not hesitate at any means to make herself count. This is an important trait, particularly in the light of the fact that her father, Senor Martinez, is from the time when the male power paradigm over the female still held.

Essay on Latin Hispanic Literature Assignment

Senor Martinez then serves as an important springboard for a demonstration of Lola's character. Lola is not sufficiently afraid of her father to keep from saying exactly what she means to him, by calling him a "macho, chauvinist jumping bean" (216). However, when he asks her to join the "other women" in the kitchen, she obeys, although with considerable attitude and a cold reminder to her father that there are no other women in the kitchen. This is another important element in the story. Lola is the only female character. This is furthermore important to her role in the story, as she functions within a world dominated, in number at least, by men. She however more than holds her position among them, and is instrumental in the final reconciliation between her father and brother. She is the one who reminds her father of his own youth and his own father's attitude towards him. She does this with her usual strength of expression and character, as this is the only way to penetrate her father's rocky exterior. One might then see her role in the story as symbolic of the dichotomy between the concept of the Chicano woman as oppressed, weak, and belonging in the kitchen, and the ideal of her as the nurturer, but also the central power within the family and its function.

In "Barbie-Q" by Sandra Cisneros, the main female image of the story is presented by Barbie dolls. While one might assume that the human characters who play with them are also female, they are never described in any detail. All attention to detail are paid to the dolls. Indeed, this could be seen as indicative of the role of the dolls in creating a sense of self-image in the girls. They use the toys as surrogates for their own lives. They live, as it were, through the dolls.

The symbolism of the burnt and broken dolls is significant in terms of these surrogate lives. The Barbie dolls could be seen as representing the ideal of womanhood in the minds of the girls. The burnt dolls in turn could represent the reality and imperfections of their true lives. These lives are often poverty-stricken and sad, with concerns that are much greater than stealing each other's boyfriends, as the girls fantasize at the beginning of the story. The symbolism then… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Latin Hispanic Literature" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Latin Hispanic Literature.  (2009, December 14).  Retrieved March 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Latin Hispanic Literature."  14 December 2009.  Web.  1 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Latin Hispanic Literature."  December 14, 2009.  Accessed March 1, 2021.