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Works on Life in America by Morales and Anzaldua Essay

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Updated: Jan 3rd, 2022

The two poems “Child of the Americas” and “To live in the Borderlands means to you” are conservative in the way they express the cultural background of the persona. The first poem written by Aurora Levins Morales uses first-person narration. Aurora cleverly and boldly shows the pride she has in the way she feels about her racial culture. The second poem written by Gloria Anzaldua is magnificent with its repetitive use of “you”. She has no excuses in the way she postulates her background. Nonetheless, she also feels proud of the way she is and how the same culture has changed her in one or the other. The foremost argument based on the writers is the different individuality that arises from their native background although written from an immigrant’s point of view.

There are similarities in the poems. The pride in heritage in these two poems is rather written in a different mode. For example, the anger in the first poem is thrilling. We see the strength of the person who says, “I am a child of the America” (Butro 53). How the persona wields the “flashing knife blade” shows the glamour and love the persona has in the “Diaspora” of war! The persona generalizes the continent. The complexion he insists on, clearly tells how the culture in which the immigrant is subjected resent them. The second poem Anzaldua tells of how she “lives in the borderland”. This is similar to the first poem because their races are mixed. They have no clear cut of their origin. Although they are Hispanic, they are all from a mixed breed. Their lives are majorly enchanted in the way their races are unique in tradition. The traditions in both poems resemble. For instance, love of mother tongue and conforming to traditional values that are neglected.

The main difference between the two poems is the way they approach the mixing of cultures. They have different apt diction that not only differentiates their structure and meter but also the tone and mood. “To live in the Borderland means you” evokes an inimitable combination of five races that shows how one transcends the borders. It gives the vigor and strength to survive the atrocities at the crossroads. This comes from the Hispanic point of view. But in the first poem “Child of the Americas” captures the African continent and interrelates with the Spanish cultures, language, food, and tradition.

The way the two poems hypothesize the true self is different. For instance, in “Child of the Americas” the writer postulates the persona as one who speaks the first language of “Spanglish” and is very fluent in English. The allusion of “I am not African. Africa is in me” and “I am not European. Europe lives in me” means the integration of cultures. This comparison later identifies the persona in the poem as a “true self” who claims to be made by History.

The two poems have apt diction that brings the freedom and conservative nature of mixed cultures from different perspectives. The reference of food, traditions, and ethnicity of different races are correlated to give the meaning of true self and heritage. Although both personas in the poem are immigrants, they later create a unique tradition that is distinct. They have both used Spanish words in the poems to show their love of the language and nation. Thus, both poems ridicule and satirize the peers bordering the persona’s lives. Therefore, the overall message of multiculturalism and cultural identity are explicitly shown in the poems, urging us to mix and unify in oneness.

Work Cited

Butro, Willian. et al. An Introduction to Literature. New York, NY: Firebrand Books, 1986. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Works on Life in America by Morales and Anzaldua." January 3, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/works-on-life-in-america-by-morales-and-anzaldua/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Works on Life in America by Morales and Anzaldua." January 3, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/works-on-life-in-america-by-morales-and-anzaldua/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Works on Life in America by Morales and Anzaldua'. 3 January.

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