Legal Alien Essay

576 words - 2 pages

Licup 1Metaphor, Tone and Antithesis in "Legal Alien""Legal Alien," a collection from "Chants," is a short free versed poem written by Pat Mora. The poem explores the lives of Mexican-Americans and the cultural tension they have to face. The poet discusses a bi-cultural person whose parents are from Mexico but the person was born and raised in America and is an American citizen by law. Although he can speak fluent English and Spanish, he still has a hard time being accepted by both or one race. Mora's use of poetic techniques such as metaphor, tone and antithesis emphasizes her concerns in regards to the issue.Mora uses metaphor to highlight how a bi-cultural individual feels like not being acknowledged by both races. "a handy token" (line 16) informs the readers that a bi-cultural individual is like a handy instrument that can easily slide from back to forth, from English to Spanish (vice-versa). The person can also adapt very quickly, quicker than those who has only one culture. "between the fringes of both worlds" (line 18) notify the readers that although the speaker's race is Mexican and his nationality is American the speaker isn't fully accepted by both races. Mexicans view the speaker as an alien (line 10) while American view him as exotic, inferior and definitely different (lines 9-10). In this situation, the speaker feels lost in both races thus having an identity crisis.Using tone shapes the ideas of the poem and expresses the poet's aggravation towards cultural tension. "able to slip from, "How's life?" to "Me'stanvolviendo loca"(lines 2-3) this line informs the readers that while the speaker can speak both languages fluently she isn't accepted by both races entirely and the speaker is frustrated, this is evident when she said...

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