Diluting Traditions

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Diluting Traditions:

Adapting to America Culture in the Stories of Julia Alvarez and Jose Burciaga

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Julia Alvarez Jose Antonio Burciaga March 27, 1950 to present 1940 - 1996

Pedro Aguayo
Research paper
May 26, 2010
Diluting Traditions:

Adapting to America Culture in the Stories of Julia Alvarez and Jose Burciaga

In “Hold the Mayonnaise” by Julia Alvarez and “I Remember Masa” by Jose Burciaga, the authors recreate the theme of Hispanic food and its influence in North American habits and customs. They reflect the relation between cultures based on the integration of two different identities. Mexican-American and Dominican-American traditions are exposed, creating a dual vision of life in North America. In “Hold the Mayonnaise,” Julia Alvarez describes her experience as Hispanic stepmother with two American stepdaughters. The use of mayonnaise as a symbol for the American food culture help to teach the blending of the society. Alvarez illustrates the experience of her mother and the existence of circumstances changing her path in North America. The Mayonnaise begin a lace of connection with the stepdaughters. Julia Alvarez adapts her Hispanic traditions to find new Hispanic-American custom. “All I could think of was that she would make me eat mayonnaise, a food I identified with the United States and which I detested. Mami understood, of course, that I wasn’t used to that kind of food” (Alvarez,1992). “Even a madrastra, accustomed to our rice and beans and tostones and pollo frito, would understand. But an American stepmother would think it was normal to put mayonnaise on food” (Alvarez,1992).

Priscila Campello states “Now the voice and vision are not more of the daughter of exile, the girl who tries to assimilate and fit into North American culture, the unprotected girl who wants...
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