Mousey’s Life as a Mestiza
The term mestiza can be described as the biological bringing together of Anglo, Spanish and indigenous Indian blood. Mestiza though is also loosely identified as a spirituality, where a new borderland space is created and filled with a new meaning of individuality that bridges the gap between two or more opposing cultures. This phenomenon is vividly portrayed by Sandra Cisneros in her book, The House on Mango Street, where she illustrates her life as a mestiza. Anzaldua also reflects on her experiences in a mestiza culture in the article, Consciousness. The film Mi Vida Loca, which was written by Allison Anders, provides a keen perspective on this subject. These sources show the meaning of mestiza, which is usually characterized by low social class, inner city areas where gang life is prevelant; however additionally, the more multifaceted and complex interplay of values and challenges within the Chicano community. In this essay, I argue that the overall effect of Mousey’s identity is that she is a mestiza, which is caused by her politics of location, politics of inheritance and intersectionality.
The main cause of Mousey being mestiza is her political location. This leads to her overall identity as a mestiza because she has lived most her life on the lower half of the class continuum. The reason she is mestiza is mainly because she grew up in Echo Park, which was a melting pot of English and Spanish people and she was required to redefine individuality when two cultures were at play against one another. For instance, in the very opening scene of Mi Vida Loca, Sad Girl explains, We take life as it comes in my neighborhood, the good and the bad. Like everyone else, we have our ups and downs. You learn to take it as it comes. You keep cool knowing in your heart that what goes around comes around. That’s life in the Echo, ay. (Anders 2003). In Anzaldua’s article, she...
Cited: Mi Vida Loca. Dir. Allison Anders. By Allison Anders. Sony Pictures Classics, 1994.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. “La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a new consciousness.” Making
face Making soul Hacienda caras 1987 : 99-120. Print.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.
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