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Response 1

Samuel A. Batista Jr.


English 255


Struggles in Colonization for
The New Settlers

Latino Literature, a course that’s slowly spreading across the nation in teaching institutions expand the next generation of minds about the history of various Latino countries over the course of time. Memories passed down and remembered for future generations to see what it means to struggle and survive. An identity many people struggled to keep with them in order to set the example of what truly is “The American Dream”. Iilan Stavans explores this in the Preface of “The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, he writes,

“Latino Literature is about the tension between double attachment to place, to language, and to identity. Many Latinos did not come as immigrants to the United States; the United States came to them in the form of colonial enterprises. Those Latinos that came as immigrants are unlike any other immigrant group in the United States because for centuries they have maintained strong ties to the places once called home and with the languages of those homelands. This double attachment results in a double loyalty. Thus, to understand Latino Literature, it is important to keep in mind both the ambivalence at the core of the tradition and the literary works’ connection” (Iiii).

From the start, Stavans states that Latino Literature is riddled with tension, due to a “double attachment” to language, place and identity.The United States would not have been as diverse if Latinos did not immigrate to the U.S bringing their their history of culture, language and identity with them. The U.S. needed the Latinos to form, shape, give life and meaning to colonies, thus giving them diversity.In reality the U.S. went to the Latinos in order to make the colonies a more livable place for new comers after them to feel right at home. Latinos who came to the U.S. as immigrants faced double loyalties. These group of people are vastly different from others because they arrived with centuries worth of strong ties to history, language and cultures of their previous homelands. What made Latinos so vastly different from other groups of people?It wasn’t only the history that they carried but the struggles and worries of settling into another country. The adjustment in settling into the new world and now taking on a new form of identity. The identity of becoming the prime example of what future generations would look to in order to see “The American Dream” fulfilled. The building of the foundation took on a new form of responsibility that would ultimately lead to future generations following past examples. As a result, instead of having loyalty to only one country; country of origin or their new found land, they now have double loyalties, double the bond for the new place they now call home. So to understand Latino Literature, one must keep in mind the cultures and the core moral and traditions that the Latinos bring to the table; the Anglo and the Hispanic.

The focus of “The Mission” in Culture Clash was to make fun of the hypocrisy the European Catholics performed on the Native Americans. In an effort to try and establish the new world they needed to “show” the Native Americans how to live their lives or other be punished by death. Stavans uses the example and writes,

“When I found these little creatures they were living in the cracks of the earth! […] I took away their pagan dances and gave them true culture! La opera, el ballet, Los Gipsy Kings! I took away their primitive tongue and taught them Espanol, and you better speak Spanish now, my little ones […] I took away their religion; now they fear God! And, with a little help from the whip, the gun and the cross… they respect me” (Culture Clash, 2441)

According to the reading, though it’s a spoof it dictates that the Native Americans were savages, living in land without religion and without happiness, “beasts” and uncivilized. Taking away their culture and their dances and giving them instead ballets and such so as to satisfy their Christian God. He writes that he took away their languages and gave them the miracle of “Espanol” the language most accepted by God until English comes into play. The Native Americans did not have a choice because when resistance was detected they would be punished instantly or killed instantly. They took away their religion and now they fear the Christian God. This becomes the most hypocritical point because it seems that the Native American God(s) are ones that were considered false, and the Christian God is the true God. Through all the punishment and killings now the Native Americans fear for their lives show that they willing do anything to stay alive.

Culture Clash. “The Mission.” The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. By Ilan Stavans. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2011. 2441. Print.

Preface. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.
Ilan Stavans. New York:W.W. Norton &, 2011. liii. Print.

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