Cultural Differences

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The two articles that I will compare and contrast will be “A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood,” written by Judith Ortiz Cofer, and “Only Daughter,” written by Sandra Cisneros. Both female Hispanic authors talk about how they divided their childhood between two countries and the meaning of being a woman in their cultures. They also describe family structures and relationships between parents and children in an immigrant family. Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in the small town of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. She came to the U.S with her parents and they settled in Paterson, New Jersey. Similar to Cisneros, she had a divided childhood. She spent portions of her childhood between the tropical island and the cold city. She constantly was made to feel weird by other children. She felt like an “oddball”, because her friends made fun of her. When she talked Spanish with other children in Puerto Rico, they said she talked like a “Gringa”, and when she spoke English children made fun of her Spanish accent. Those experiences with children and the New Jersey’s cold weather developed her early reading skills. After school she used to sit and read for hours and hours. She explains how her books were her refuge. When she was in Puerto Rico, she lived in her Grandmother’s house. Her Grandmother, called “Mama”, was the patriarch of the family. She remembers how her mother, aunts, cousins, and she used to sit around the living room listening to Mama’s stories about how it used to be like for a Puerto Rican woman. These tales, told in her families for generations, used to carry an implicit message. They used to talk about men and marriages. Mama told them “cuentos” about women that were betrayed by men and how women should be “smart” if they really want to keep their men. In comparison, Cisneros was born in Chicago. She describes how early her parents began a circular migration between Chicago and Mexico City. Cisneros’ father was from Mexico, so she...
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