English 253: Hispanic American Literature
Appreciate Your Heritage
Some Americans remember where they came from; others don’t. That’s the case in Daniel Chacon’s story “The Biggest City in the World”. It is a story about Harvey Gomez who is a Mexican American young man whose grandparents migrated to the Unites States from Mexico. Harvey has only been to Mexico once in his entire life and neither of his parents has ever been there before. Therefore he doesn’t know anything about his native culture or language. In this story Harvey travels deep inside of Mexico for the first time with his Mexican history Professor David P. Rogstart and gets exposed to its culture and language. On the contrary, Carolina Hospital’s poem “Finding Home” is about Mexicans who were born in Mexico and later migrated to America.
When Harvey arrives in Mexico he tries to distance himself from the country’s culture. In fact, shortly after he comes out of his hotel room the first place that he goes to is La Zona Rosa because “The expensive shops, Gucci, Polo, Yves St. Laurent, relaxed him because they reminded him of Beverly Hills” (Chacon 58). Harvey is going to places in Mexico that he is familiar with back in the United States and is not trying to explore his heritage. Perhaps this is because he doesn’t feel like he is a Mexican and that he is only an American. After all, he was born and raised in the United States by parents who have never been to Mexico themselves.
Harvey eventually gets exposed to ancient Aztec monuments when he runs into Professor Rogstart who is viewing stone carvings. As Harvey decides to take a closer look at the stone carvings, he is seeing history of his heritage and begins to compare it. “Gomez wondered how many Aztecs were scared into believing in their gods, like his father tried to make him believe in Jesus and the Virgin Mary” (Chacon 60). He starts thinking how the Aztecs were raised up into worshiping their gods...