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Borderlands, La Frontera Essay

1003 words - 5 pages

Demont Campbell

AP English 4
Borderlands / La Fonterra

After reading this poem I have opened my eyes to more than staying one typical direction. I believe a lot of people have tunnel vision and don’t take the time to look at the whole picture. I have become interested in prose after reading this book because it reads just like music. It has an easy rhythm I guess you could say. Honestly I don’t think this poem is for everyone especially at a high school level because it has to deal with such a contrasting subject. This book has shown me the hardships that people have to go through and that everyone should have human rights.
Borderlands/La Fonterra, Gloria Anzaldua paints a moving ...view middle of the document...

She then exemplifies the most important reason the deadly border exists simply because it is the gringo way of staying safe by separating us from them. Anzaldúa then includes a short history of the people who have inhabited the Mexico region, beginning with the oldest known inhabitants of what is now the United States in 35,000 B.C. and ending in the present day. The book comprises a set of essays and poems exploring identity, each drawing on Anzaldua's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, and an activist. Anzaldua challenges the conception of a border as a simple divide, comparing it as an area to be inhabited and that comprises part of identity. Anzaldúa opens Borderlands by talking about the ocean. She does this to contrast it with the United States, Mexico border, which is unnatural and confining. The border fence does not just separate two countries, but it does something more; it sociologically and psychologically affects us. She then uses imagery which gives the reader a sense of the helplessness that the mestizo feels pushed back from the land their ancestors lived on, and destined to it. By switching from Spanish to English, Anzaldúa gives the reader the impression that she is tied to both cultures. According to Anzaldúa, the reason that borders exist is to separate the good from the bad, the safe from the dangerous, us from them. This separation of us and them that the United States has invented is evident in the way that people are treated on the border. When those of color cross the border, whether legitimately or not, they are “raped, maimed, strangled, gassed, and shot.” In Anzaldúa’s final section of the chapter, she tells the story of the mestizos’ descendants, beginning with the Chicanos in what is now Texas in 35,000 B.C. In 1,000 B.C. they moved south to what is now Mexico and Central America where their children, the...

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