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The Importance Of Language As Expressed In “Learn! Learn!” By Hugo Martinez Serros

1502 words - 6 pages

“Learn! Learn!”
Language, whether oral, or written is the primary type of interaction we have. In “Learn! Learn!” by Hugo Martinez-Serros, the author stress the importance of language and education in society rather than your social class. He shows the importance of language to us by outlining the everyday life of a hard working Mexican that lingers in developing his authorship, and really likes to criticize the writing of the higher class enlightened priest. He lives in the south side of Chicago, and in his spare time he loves to study and critic others writings for improvement.
Language shapes the perspective of human knowledge and communication, which is where the theme of education comes into this story as well. Just by the way of voiced or unvoiced expression, people are able to convey thoughts, ideas, feelings, worries, and anticipations. This ability of language comes from schooling and being well educated not from being upper class. Chema fines education of much importance, you see this when he says“!Que se chinguen esos! Fuck them! !No tienen interes en aprender! They're not interested in learning”. (260) Chema feels that the unvoiced or written language is the greatest and most precious tool utilized to portray a culture, the author shows this when Chema “…did it to show them that words belonged to anyone who wanted them, and they came to believe that success in life and the power of speech were closely linked, that one could not be important without knowing words.”( 266) By making use of written language, writers can easily demonstrate someone’s education, norms, customs and values in society. In multi-cultural literary works, making use of multilingual storytelling can confuse a reader at the start, but this can be done strategically. In “Learn! Learn!” the writer does this to emphasize the themes of the story. By using different languages in the author’s story it allows the reader to grasp the concept of language, the importance of it for communication and understanding. Also by making use of a number of different languages in a story, the reader is in a position to acquire insights of class structure, values and beliefs of a society, and perceptions of a culture as illustrated in "Learn! Learn!”. The intensely intertwined Spanish phrases all through the story can conveniently make the reader to decelerate as he or she contemplates their intended insinuation to stress the importance of language and being educated.
Nevertheless, for as confusing as it is with the Spanish phrases, without the bilingualism observed in "Learn! Learn!" a great deal of the intended meaning and insight of the story would be lost. The combination of Spanish and English makes the reader slow down out of an average part of the reading, forcing him/her to browse for the meaning of the expressions in the footnotes or some other sources. The author does this to emphasize the theme of education and language or as Chema likes to say “Aprende! Aprende!”(261). This...

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