Chicano Nationalism Essay

2221 words - 9 pages

Chicano Nationalism

Chicano as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary , is “a Mexican-American”. Nationalism, as defined by the same publication, is “devotion to the interests or particular culture of a particular nation”. So by definition, we can infer that Chicano Nationalism is an interest in either the Mexican or American culture by a Mexican American, which is not a very concise definition. Before we can begin to define Chicano Nationalism, we must first define what is it to be a Chicano. In it’s simplest form, the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition of a Chicano is correct, but there is much more to it than being a Mexican-American. It is a realization of one’s past, present and future; realizing how far the culture has come, and how far it has yet to go. It is not only living the duality of both being a Mexican and an American, but also the multiplicity of being a descendant from any number of tribes and nationalities of people that have peppered the landscape of North and Central America over hundreds of years. There is no one distinct definition of being a Chicano, but an ever-evolving sense of being that at once combines heritage, personal beliefs, culture, politics and nationality.
Defining nationalism, although not as simple as American Heritage Dictionary’s definition, is an easier definition to ascertain. As it refers to the Chicano, nationalism has to do with a strong belief in one’s heritage, their homeland, the oppression felt be their people, the belief in the self as a nation, the sense of community, equal rights, and the right to exist and follow one’s roots. The concept of Chicano nationalism is one that Chicano writers have expressed their views upon in many ways. With analysis’ of Lorna Dee Cervantes’ “Poem For The Young White Man Who Asked Me How I, An Intelligent, Well-Read Person Could Believe In The War Between The Races” and Corky Gonzales’ “I Am Joaquin” the reader will be exposed to two examples from each poem of the key elements of Chicano nationalism. These key elements will provide the reader with a greater understanding of how writers in this period exemplified Chicano nationalism.
Cervantes begins her poem with the lines, “In my land, there are no distinctions. The barbed wire politics of oppression have been torn down long ago. The only reminder of past battles, lost or won, is a slight rutting in the fertile lands.” This first stanza sets the tone for the poem as Cervantes chooses to take a stand by trumpeting the virtues of her own homeland, rather than downplay the misgivings present in our society. The line “In my land, there are no distinctions” is an obvious reference to the class structure that is prevalent in our (United States) society. It is this class structure, or modernized caste system, that divides people and puts them in a position to oppress or be oppressed. Hence we have an example of Chicano nationalism in that invariably the Anglos have always risen to power and...

Find Another Essay On Chicano Nationalism

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub-plots in Hamlet Essay

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine

904 words - 4 pages The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine    The stories of Oedipus, as told through Seneca's Oedipus and Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, contain both similarites and differences. Both authors portray the character of Oedipus as being obstinate, ignorant, and inquisitive. Yet Seneca and Cocteau differ on their interpretation of the motives that propelled these characteristics of Oedipus. Seneca portrays Oedipus as a

Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3121 words - 12 pages        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic

Sophocles' Antigone - Antigone Must Challenge Creon

889 words - 4 pages Antigone Must Challenge Creon in Antigone   In his "Funeral Oration" Pericles, Athens's leader in their war with other city-states, rallies the patriotism of his people by reminding them of the things they value. He encourages a sense of duty to Athens even to the point of self-sacrifice. He glorifies the free and democratic Athenian way of life and extravagantly praises those willing to die for it. In Antigone, Creon, Thebes's leader in

Similar Essays

Mexicans In The United States Essay

3692 words - 15 pages began using makeup to lighten their skin, bobbing their hair, and dressing in the fashions popularized by the Anglo movie star. The Chicano search for acceptance though puzzling, is glaring in these three cases. However it may be most easily observed through the heated Nationalism the Chicanos took as Americans toward the effort of the Second World War. "They came from farms, from large cities, from small villages, from the back woods

The Life Of Ernesto Galarza Essay

1329 words - 5 pages domination, Mexican immigration, the Chicano oppression, and cultural nationalism. It focuses of issues pertaining to the Chicano as race, class, gender, and working class culture. Ernesto disagrees with the fact that "psychologists believe that Mexicans have lost their cultural self-image". He was saying that the psychologists are wrong and that Mexicans do have cultural self-images. The symbolism that was shown in this book is that Ernesto was

Semiautobiographical Work Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza By Gloria Anzaldúa

1559 words - 6 pages . Language can be manipulated in such a way that it can cause a certain effect or provoke a specific response. The discourses for this book were put into the following categories: Chicano Cultural Nationalism, Post-Colonial Theory, strategic essentialism, mestizaje, sexual and cultural identity, queer theory, shamanism, and feminism. Chicano Cultural Nationalism tends to highlight civil rights, political and social inclusion, and uses the

Major Problems In Mexican American History

2313 words - 9 pages Major Problems in Mexican American History Mexicans have been a people long oppressed. That is evident not only by the readings edited by Zaragosa Vargas in Major Problems in Mexican American History, but also by the the documentary Chicano!. The Mexicans’ past is underscored by conquest of the present-day American Southwest first by the Spanish and then by the United States following the Mexican American War. With other countries