Archive for February, 2012

Feb 28 2012

Shades of the Border vs. The Texas Rangers

Published by under Uncategorized

After watching the video “Shades of the Border” it made me realize how those people from the Dominican Republic and those from Haiti were treated in such different ways. This video can be connected to the reading by Paredes when he speaks about this group called “The Texas Rangers” who were a group of people who were out to kill Mexicans that would come across the border. The following quote describes the terrible acts performed by “The Texas Rangers”:

Rangers often killed Mexicans who had nothing to do with the criminals they were after. Some actually were shot by mistake, according to the Ranger method of shooting first and asking questions afterwards.(Paredes 617)

This shows how this group of military Rangers would perform terrible acts on these Mexican people. I believe that their method of “shooting first and asking questions later” should be done away with because these Rangers ended up killing many innocent people because they were afraid for their own lives. It seemed that these Rangers needed to keep their reputation and in doing so, they would kill whoever they came in contact with. This resulted in these Rangers killing another Ranger waiting to ambush at a Mexican which was in the end killing not only an innocent person but one of their own men.

The video “Shades of the Border” shows the idea of how Dominicans and Haitians have intense feelings toward one another. In comparison to the reading by Paredes mentioning the existence of Texas Rangers we see how in the video the people from Haiti just come across the border into the Dominican Republic looking to escape the hardships of Haiti. In Haiti there is extreme poverty where these people would just sit and wait for someone to give them cheap labor. The military was not as strict as it was noted in the reading how the Texas Rangers would sit at the border and kill any Mexican that tried to come along. The following quote states how Haitians were treated with such violent acts:

August 2005, 13 Haitians were killed by Dominicans in two weeks. 3 of those Haitians were doused with gasoline and set on fire (Patrick Smith Shades of the Border)

This quote shows the brutal, violent acts that the Dominicans would perform on the Haitians.  Many of the Haitians resemble Dominicans and yet they are hated by the Dominican people. The people of Haiti experience such poverty that they come to the Dominican Republic looking to better themselves. For instance, the video showed a Haitian speaking about how the Dominican discriminated against him due to his coloring of black skin and had turned him away from work because of his appearance. Although many Dominicans resemble the same appearance being of darker skin tone and yet they discriminate against the Haitians because they do not want to be associated with the poverty of Haiti.

No responses yet

Feb 23 2012

Gender Roles: “My Wife Doesn’t Work

Published by under Uncategorized

While reading Jesus Colon, the one piece that caught my attention was “My Wife Doesn’t Work”. I found this piece to be a bit humorous and made readers aware of how women are the ones that keep the household together. I think it makes people aware of all the work that women actually do even when they do not have a job. For instance Colon states:

Women’s work in the home never ends. There is no clock to punch in the house from the moment a woman begins to prepare breakfast or dress the kids for school, up to the time when she does the dishes and ends the day. (Colon, 504)

This quote explains how the man goes to work, yet the women is left to care for the home and there is no paycheck given to the women at the end of the week and no such thing as a weekend for the wife because her work never ends, she constantly has the obligation of taking care of her family. Women’s work continues forever. This piece of work shows how men can take advantage of how the women are dedicated to them, allowing them to have great lives. It also shows how men depend on the women for so much even though the men are the ones that work and are bringing home the money, the men would be incomplete without their wives. For instance Colon states:

the average man makes a little slave of the woman, one who serves him twelve to fourteen hours a day without a salary and many times without love. (Colon, 505)

This is stating how men don’t want their wives to work because they feel they will then be at a loss and the women will stop doing all the hard work. They fear that the women will eventually be the dominating figure in their household instead of the man having the domination over the women. They don’t want the women to know about what it is like to have the power because then the men will feel as if they are worthless and of lower rank then their wives. This is connected to gender roles because the women are associated with doing the house work and taking care of the husband and children while the men are the ones that are to support the family financially. In today’s society gender roles are changing, for instance, women have taken on the roles of men and there are now stay at home dads while the mothers go to work to support the family and make the income.

One response so far

Feb 23 2012

Race vs Ethnicity

Published by under Uncategorized

In the previous class we had a discussion on the difference between race and ethnicity, and how they are viewed in society. When referring to someones race it is connected to a person’s physical appearance. The race would be the skin color of the person and how they are socially constructed through their biological genes. The race has more to do with the appearance of the person and where they come from. Ethnicity on the other hand, is associated with identity and values the people hold. Ethnicity of a person is affiliated with the country, the values, and the culture the person follows. It can also relate to the language the person speaks and the religion they follow. Race is something that a person is born with and can not be changed, if a person is born white they can not change that they are white, if a person is born black they can not change being black, although one can have control over changing their ethnicity, for instance, they can change what religion they believe in or what they choose their identity to be as time goes on. I thought the “Fresh Prince of Bell-Aire” was a good example of race and ethnicity and how the characters Will and Carlton are the same race and yet have totally different characteristics. For instance, Carlton is more proper and is seen as acting “white” while Will is associated with acting black in different ways. They both have the same appearance but in the end they have different values and are classified by their different identities. I think this example is a good way to show how just because a person is a certain race doesn’t mean they will necessarily act as that race. I think the discussion has brought up how certain races have different stereotypes and how these stereotypes are not accurate and vary depending on the identity the person chooses for oneself.

No responses yet

Feb 19 2012

“Two Homelands”

Published by under Uncategorized

In the poem “Two Homelands” Marti personifies Cuba in a way to show how he feels himself not being in his homeland Cuba. He compares Cuba to the night, which shows darkness and how he is lonely and quiet being he is not in Cuba.  Marti goes on to state:

like a sad widow; it’s empty; like a flag inviting us to battle , the candles red flame flickers; Cuba like a widow passes by.” (281-282)

In this quote, the author is trying to show a comparison of himself to a widow. It shows how he is experiencing a sense of loss due to him being away from Cuba. He states how “it’s empty” meaning that leaving Cuba has given him an uneasy feeling and that he is no longer the person he used to be and how this has destroyed him. When the author states, “like a flag inviting us to battle, the candles red flame flickers” he is trying to show how a flag is a symbol of strength and how troops follow their flag while the flames of the candle can be seen as a way to guide him back to his homeland of Cuba. The poem has an uneasiness about it and I found it clever to use personification throughout the poem and using the comparison to a widow, showing how he feels lost without his homeland like a woman feels lost after experiencing the death of a loved one.

No responses yet

Feb 19 2012

“The Rag”

Published by under Uncategorized

“and on staining it with blood the furious soul, the miserable cloth will be seen transformed into a rag that astonishes the whole world. ” (321)

In the poem “The Rag” by Francisco Gonzalo “Pachin” Marin he is describing how a flag is seen as a symbol of strength. It seems as if a country is looked down upon if they have no flag because a flag is seen as a sign of identity. I found it interesting how the poem was titled “The Rag” because a country’s flag is much more then just a rag, it is a sign of identity and strength and is something that is to be respected by the people of that country. I believe when he states “staining it with blood”  and “miserable cloth will be transformed” he is trying to convey how the flesh of the people fighting for their country is honored and these people are identified through this “rag” stained with their flesh, meaning the people keep the country strong.

No responses yet

Feb 13 2012

Ode to Niagara

Published by under Uncategorized

In “Ode to Niagara” this speaker is comparing Cuba and Niagara Falls. He compares how the lifestyle of these two different places affects him in different ways showing how he has become an exile. For instance, the speaker writes:

“On this tremendous brink, Twere sweet to see her face touched with paleness, and become more beautiful from fear, and overspread, with a faint smile, while clinging to my side. Dreams—–dreams! I am an exile and for me, there is no country and there is no love.” (p.205)

In this quote I believe the speaker to be talking about the country he left behind, being Cuba. It seems as if he could also be talking about a loved one he left behind or even talking about the country itself by using personification. I believe when he states “while clinging to my side” he could be talking about how Cuba is always going to be a part of him even though he has left it behind. He seems to express how he feels that he is remembering his dreams and how his life was when he was back in Cuba and how it is being at Niagara Falls, comparing the two. Towards the end of this quote, the speaker seems disconnected from Cuba because he has “exiled” himself by leaving his country which was once a familiar place to him.

 

No responses yet

Feb 12 2012

“Our Symbol” vs. “The Mission”

Published by under Uncategorized

“Our symbol then is not Ariel, as Rodo thought, but rather Caliban. This is something that we, the mestizo inhabitants of the Caliban lived, see with particular clarity: Prospero invaded the islands, killed our ancestors, enslaved Caliban, and taught him his language to make himself understood. What else can Caliban do but use that same language— today he has no other — to curse him, to wish that the red plague would fall on him? I know no other metaphor more expressive of our cultural situation, of our reality” (p. A119-A120)

It seems as if, in this case, Caliban is the one performing worship, while Prospero”invaded the island, enslaved Caliban”, it looks as if the language is what is important here and this is what makes Caliban a symbol to the Mestizo people. The “red plague” can be seen as a curse if Caliban would not take on the language. The language being taught to Caliban can be seen as the “red plague” itself due to the language being priority and showing power in this case. This shows how these people are controlled by Prospero and how he tries to covert them to learn a language outside of their own. This is very much related to “The Mission” because in “The Mission” Father Serra had control/ power over the indios people, whereas in this section, “Our Symbol” Prospero seems to be the equivalent to Father Serra and the Caliban seem to be controlled like the indios in “The Mission”. It shows how these mestizo people are tortured and forced to follow a way of life that they are not familiar with in order to keep their lives. It seems that Prospero has an impact on the mestizo people of the Caliban and by following the words of Prospero, and the way the indios followed Father Serra’s words has become a symbol and a new way of life that these people are now adopting.

No responses yet

Feb 07 2012

The Mission

Published by under Uncategorized

While reading The Mission, I took this piece of writing on a more serious note then being humorous. The main character Father Serra constantly referred to the Indios as “little savages” which I felt to be an insult to the Indios people. I found it interesting how Father Serra talked down to these Indios and how he was pictured as being a “man of reason” being the higher rank in this case having power over the Indios people. Once I understood that this piece was meant to be humorous and understood where this idea of “culture clash” came from I now find it to be a clever way to catch the attention of the public and make them aware of such issues that these Latinos faced. One thing I found interesting about our discussion in class was that if someone were to speak with a “lisp” it was an indicator of their status in society. This is interesting because these people revolved their rank in society around their language and the way it is spoken, whereas in today’s society status is about how much an individual has achieved.

No responses yet

Feb 06 2012

Favorite Author

Published by under Uncategorized

One of my favorite authors would be The Brothers Grimm, which are two white males that came from Germany. These two men are famous for writing a collection of fairy tales that are based on the written works of Charles Perrault. I have recently taken a course that focused on fairy tales last semester and was able to read many stories written by The Brothers Grimm which I enjoyed very much. When fairy tales come to mind many people believe they are written for children, but after taking one of my english courses that dealt with fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm it made me realize that fairy tales have a deeper meaning and can have a darker side to them. Some of the fairy tales that I have read by The Brothers Grimm are “Hansel and Gretel”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Snow White” and “Rapunzel”. I believe that The Brothers Grimm can be a classic in some ways due to the fairy tales having a moral behind the story and due to the fact that I learned about these fairy tales in a college leveled class. I would have never thought I would be taking a college class that dealt with reading fairy tales. I believe they can be a classic also because some of these fairy tales are being recreated and have many different versions. I think these fairy tales have deeper meanings and can be interpreted through critical lenses in terms of structuralism or marxism in order to perform close readings of these fairy tales to figure out what the author’s intention for writing them were at the time.

No responses yet

Feb 06 2012

views on the american dream

Published by under Uncategorized

During a previous class we discussed what the American Dream can be defined as? Some said it’s having a family and working their way up from the bottom and achieving more, becoming a success and being able to provide for oneself. In this video it shows how the American Dream is starting to diminish, showing how people are unable to pay their bills, are unemployed, and are just in financial crisis. For instance, one women in the video that was interviewed was a single mother who is struggling financially and says that “the government stole the American Dream”. The woman states ” her American Dream would be that she is able to pay her rent on time.” The video shows how the American Dream is slowly diminishing and more people are struggling to achieve their dreams everyday. One thing I found interesting was that it was said “America is one of the richest countries and yet experiences the most poverty.” I found this interesting because if America is one of the richest countries then why should this American Dream be taken away from the people? The broken promises of the government can be blamed for a high percentage of people being out of jobs and struggling to make ends meat in order to support their families.

No responses yet

Next »

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar