The Chicano Identity
The majority of people around us have parents with histories beyond our local area. They come from places hundreds of miles away, such as China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and even Mexico. As they set to live in America, they give birth to a new generation and these children are raised differently with a whole new standard. These standards are different from other countries whether it’s their educational system, laws, or social behaviors. This causes heritages to become diluted and less family oriented. In such cases these can be seen through religious changes, tradition changes, and even native language changes. These new generations are raised without knowing who they are and where they’ve come from. In the case of Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” this occurrence takes place; however, she has a vivid understanding of who she really is and where she comes from. Anzaldua opens up with a story of her in a dentist chair. She is being restrained because her tongue keeps moving and it’s difficult to work on her. This can be used to signify that she refuses be tied down to a single type of language and will continue to speak many forms of Spanish. Anzaldua tries to give us insight on the situation regarding the different languages being spoken. She lists them down in order of importance: Pachuco, Tex-Mex, Chicano Spanish, North Mexican Spanish, Standard Mexican Spanish, standard Spanish, slang English, and Standard English. She uses these different types of language for many different types of groups. Toward the end of the passage she states, “So if you really want to hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.” (pg. 81) She feels strongly about her heritage and it has become a part of her. Most people wouldn’t believe language is a big concern when it comes to heritage, but Anzaldua believes otherwise. She...
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