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The politics of cultural stereotyping in Los Vendidos - Research Paper Example

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The Politics of Cultural Stereotyping in Los Vendidos Professor number The Politics of Cultural Stereotyping in Los Vendidos In Los Vendidos, Luis Valdez shows his audience and his readers a world where race was an important mark of one’s identity…
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The politics of cultural stereotyping in Los Vendidos
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Download file to see previous pages Los Vendidos talks of a time in California when policies regarding race regularly emphasized the differences between black and white, rather than talking of them as one unified whole. The governorship of Ronald Reagan was a prominent cause for this, as his policies regarding race relations have been widely condemned as racist and one where class plays an important role; with poor African Americans facing the brunt of his policies (Reagan). The reference to Reagan in Los Vendidos, is thus not a passing remark on the part of Valdez. It is an overt critique of Reagan, who was then the Californian governor. Miss Jimenez is a character who has moved beyond the lower class beginnings of the Mexican immigrants that Honest Sancho initially shows her, when she asks for a representative of the Mexican American community for the campaign that Reagan intends to carry out. The story thus points to the degeneration of democratic politics into a system where it becomes merely a system where people of different communities are trapped in the form of vote banks. Valdez pokes fun at this tendency by pointing out the utter lack of agency that such representatives possess within the democratic setup that is thus envisaged. He also highlights the bitter truth of the Mexican American himself/herself choosing to stereotype people of his/her own community. This is exactly what Miss Jimenez seems to be doing (Chabram-Dernersesian, 130-45). She moreover, desires to move out of the stereotype that is forced upon her by the mainstream American society, thereby showing that stereotypes are created both by the mainstream and the marginalized sections of the society. By the end of the play, the three Mexican American men, hitherto thought to be robots, by declaring themselves human, come out of the stereotypes that are created for them by the society. They choose also to remain outside the realm of the stereotypes that Mexican Americans choose to create for themselves by uniting for the cause of the Mexican community and thereby breaking the boundaries that are created within the Mexican American community by people like Miss Jimenez. Miss Jimenez represents the bourgeoisie who chooses to dissociate herself from her own marginalized community so as to try and be a part of the mainstream society. Her need for disguising herself as a “white washed Mexican” is something that Valdez chooses to poke fun at (Valdez). The recognition of the need for a collective action on the part of marginalized ethnic groups across the world and the need for a nation to be wary of the bourgeoisie which seeks to stifle any such attempt at revolution is what stays with the reader at the end of the story. The play also seeks to undercut the idea of the United States of America as the melting pot of all cultures, and a place where every culture is accepted, an image that is summed up in the phrase, ‘the American Dream’, which seems to promise immigrants a free society that does not discriminate between its citizens on superficial grounds such as race. The idea of an egalitarian America has been undercut by many writers of non-white origin during the twentieth century. This idea, which dates back to the puritanical idea of America as a utopian land was one that was created by its white settlers. The need for creating such a society through revolution and unrest is articulated in this play by the three characters who turn out to be humans and not robots, at the end of the pla ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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