Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mexico's Children

Meaning of chapter: Rodriguez sardonically examines the public and private self of Mexicans in an American Diaspora.

1. Parenthood (mother vs. father/male vs. female) America = Adopting vs. Mexico parenthood

  • Passage 1: "Mexico, mad mother. She still does not know what to make of our leaving. For most of the century Mexico has seen her children flee from the house of memory." Pg. 52
  • Passage 2: "Mexico worries about her own. What influence shall she have? The village is international now...Mexico cannot hold the attention of her children." Pg. 73

2. Private vs. Public Self (Tu vs. Usted) pg. 54, 63, and 68 passages

  • Passage 1: "At the heart there is tu---the intimate voice---the familiar room in a world full of rooms," ... "Usted, the formal, the bloodless, the ornamental you, is spoken to the eyes of strangers." Pg. 54
  • Passage 2: "Mexicans have invaded American privacy to babysit or to watch the dying or to wash lipstick off the cocktail glasses...The Southwest is besotted with the culture of tu."

3. Memory and Language

  • Passage 1:"What is the prognosis for a memory in a country so young? For Mexico is memory...." Pg. 73
  • Passage 2: "At the end of the week, the tabernacle of memory is dismantled, distributed among the villagers in their vans, and carried out of Mexico." Pg. 79

4. Diaspora/Migration (America/immigrating vs. Mexico/emigrating or [Mexico as an archtransvestite pg. 61]

  • Passage 1: "Like wandering Jews, Mexicans had no true home but the tabernacle of memory." pg. 48
  • Passage 2: "Mexicans live in superstitious fear of the American diaspora...In it's male in it's public, in its city aspect, Mexico is an archtransvestite, a tragic buffoon." Pg. 61 (Archtransvestite: "The arch-transvestite personifies the trajectory of a group of transsexuals in Brazil: usually expelled from home or rejected by their families at a young age, they are practically forced into prostitution as the only form of livelihood." [Via Encontros da imagem 2011.] Mexico has expelled its children and forced them to "prostitute themselves to the gringo."

The concepts relate to one another and work to support the overall topic.

Through the use of words like tu and usted, Rodriguez introduces the private and public self of the Mexican emmigrant and the Mexican immigrant and the way they affect and interact with the American southwest. When talking about migrations affecting the way Mexicans imagine themselves in a new land, Mexicans associates memory with the Mexican mother land and that memory becomes the imagined home/diaspora of Mexican Americans.

Themes: Relating to Mexico



















Other Themes:

* Immigrating Vs. Emigrating
* Present Vs. Memory

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