Se habla Espanol by Tanya Maria Barrientos Essay

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“Se habla Espanol. ” a memoir written by Tanya Maria Barrientos. was published by Borderline Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex. Sass & A ; Cultural Shifting ( HarperCollins. 2004 ) . Barrientos is a Guatemalan born Latina that was brought to the United States as a kid. but failed to place with her beginnings and saw herself as an American miss who struggled as an grownup to recover her individuality and credence as a Latino adult female. Barrientos was brought to the United States at a really immature age by her parents who immersed her into the American civilization by talking nil. but English. This was to function the intent of intermixing her more into her new society and therefore. guaranting her success. Barrientos describes how Americans during that clip were non culturally tolerant and expected aliens who entered into their state “to drop their cultural luggage at the border” ( 2004 ) . Barrientos believed that talking Spanish translated into being hapless. waiting tabular arraies at eating houses and cleaning hotel suites. In add-on. it meant being excluded from school activities such as cheerleading or non holding a opportunity to travel to college. Barrientos enjoyed stating “yo no hablo espanol” ( 2004 ) to Latino shop clerks and waitresses. As a consequence. it made her experience superior and besides made her experience American.

Suiting in with the American society was indispensable for Barrientos. She stayed off from talking Spanish because she did non desire to be labeled as a Latina. Barrientos was told by her best friends that she did non look “Mexican” and she took the remark as a compliment. For Barrientos. it did non affair that her parents spoke Spanish and were successful. She stayed off from talking Spanish because it was of import for her to suit into the American society.

When she was 16. she told her male parent she hated being called Mexican because the word was hurled as an abuse. As a consequence. her male parent realized how she felt about her native civilization. That summer. he decided to direct her to Mexico City so she could see how beautiful Mexico is and experience proud of it. By the clip she graduated from college. Barrientos realized that society had shifted. The state had changed its positions on cultural individuality. Children were told to visualize America as a motley comforter and she was left wondering where she would suit in. The Spanish linguistic communication became the gum that held the new Latino-American communities together. In her pursuit to re-enter the Latino community and name herself Latina for pride. she decided to take Spanish lessons to larn the linguistic communication and tantrum in. By her twentiess. Barrientos eventually understood that being a proud Latina meant demoing the universe how diverse our civilization can be.

The chief intent of the narrative was to exemplify the battles that people from other civilizations are faced with when seeking to suit into American society. The author’s doggedness is shown by her finding to larn Spanish and seeking to suit into the group she was supposed belong to. Barrientos’ finding is clear from the beginning when she says that this is the 6th Spanish category that she signed up for. In add-on. Barrientos expects compassion when she alienates herself in the narrative by saying that she has non met anyone like her or. possibly if there is. they have non admitted to it because they excessively might be fighting to suit in. Finally. the writer states that “when true talkers discover my restrictions. that is when I get the expression that makes me believe I’ll ne’er truly belong” ( Barrientos. 2011. pg # 60 ) .

The genre of this short narrative can be determined by the fact that Barrientos is talking from first manus experience. She speaks about her battles and how she has overcome them. When she was a small miss. she tried to suit in as a true American. In her early mid-twentiess. she embraced her civilization and background although she struggled to suit in to the Latino community due to the challenges of talking Spanish. This narrative is written for audiences with a cultural background that identifies with Barrientos’ background. It could be another individual of Latino descent or any other race seeking to larn the linguistic communication. accept their heritage and happen their topographic point in the American civilization and society.

In the beginning. Barrientos instantly immersed into the American civilization and the lone linguistic communication she learned was English. She felt superior by stating other Latino people “yo no hablo espanol” ( 2004 ) . At the terminal of the essay. she realized that she had something that people from other races did non hold. First. she embraced her native civilization by going to Mexico and Guatemala to larn more about the civilization. Second. she enrolled in Spanish categories. hired coachs and listened to tapes to go about bilingual. Last. she wanted to heighten her endowment so she could be considered as an “authentic” Latina. The tone that Barrientos used in this essay is of defeat in non cognizing where she belonged in society. She struggled with her individuality and spent a batch of clip and money seeking to happen her true ego. All she wanted was to claim a rightful topographic point in the wide Latino spectrum. Her stance was really straightforward without utilizing a tone that was excessively disconcerting to her audience. She used a few sentences that were really powerful and that was all she needed to acquire her point and concerns across.

My initial reaction after reading “Se habla Espanol” was of understanding and compassion for Barrientos. Bing from a Mexican background and migrating to the United States as a immature adult female in 1987. I understood and related to some of the challenges and defeats Barrientos had turning up when seeking to be accepted as an reliable Latina. I am a proud Hispanic adult female and am ever willing to portion with others the history and civilization of the state I was born in. I extremely respect everyone who feels proud of their civilization the same manner as I do. It is sad that Barrientos’ parents focused merely on raising American kids and non leting them to larn Spanish to do certain that they fit into the Anglo society. As a parent. I made certain my kids spoke Spanish in their early childhood old ages. I instilled in them the importance of understanding our civilization and to be proud of it. By the terminal of the narrative. I admired Barrientos for encompassing her native civilization. realizing that she should be a proud Latina and for doing a great attempt to larn Spanish to flawlessness.

1. ) Maine Humanities Council. ( 2008 ) . Humanistic disciplines on Demand. Flash Reading: Non-fiction and Drama. Retrieved from Main Humanities Council web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //mainehumanities. org/podcast/archives/tag/tanya-maria-barrientos 2. ) Roen. D. . Glau. G. R. . & A ; Maid. B. M. ( 2011 ) . The McGraw-Hill Guide Writing for College. Writing for Life. Boston. MA: McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions

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