Summary and Personal Response
Se Habla Espanol by Tanya Barrientos was about a Latina girl who struggled with her identity. She was born in Guatemala but has lived in America since she was three years old. In the beginning she was somewhat embarrassed by her Hispanic heritage. Tanya felt inferior to the white people because of how she looked and because of her last name. The tone of the essay was a serious and desperate cry for help. It seemed she was speaking to anyone who could listen and relate to her. Tanya wrote from her point of view and how she felt like a “gringa” trapped in a Latina girl’s body.
Tanya had been through the whole situation of taking tutoring to help her develop her Spanish speaking a half dozen times already. She had become frustrated and did not know where she belonged in society. She viewed herself inferior to the others in her class and wanted others to pretend she was a white girl wanting to learn Spanish. She was struggling with her identity and spent a lot of time and money trying to find her true self. You can’t blame her for feeling that way. She saw the type of treatment her parents received when she was a child enrolling in school. All she wanted was a place in society.
The primary audience Tanya was speaking to would be anyone in the same situation as she was. It could be another person of Hispanic descent or any other race trying to learn a new language and accept their heritage. In the beginning she felt like she was low on the totem pole because she was considered Mexican. Towards the end of the essay she had realized that she had something that people of other races didn’t. She was almost bilingual; however, she wanted to enhance that talent more so she could speak to other Hispanic people