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To Tame a Wild Tongue; a truly apt name for this selection. The author Gloria Anzaldua  goes in depth in her description of Chicano culture and the struggles Chicano’s go through in retaining their culture amidst the overbearing presence of Americanization. Throughout her lifetime, time and time again she has noted the pressures placed on her people to disregard their culture–to remain silent and unheard. To many Spanish purists and most Latino deficients, Chicano Spanish is seen as a mutilation of Spanish, when it is in actuality a natural evolution of the language into a new form. As they were located at a border tongue, on the dividing line between the United States and Mexico, a combination of both languages was needed to create a distinctive identity for the people. Since the creation of Chicano Spanish over 250 years ago, it has developed a significant divergence from the Spanish most people speak. Several words and pronunciations  have regressed to archaic translations, while others incorporate sounds from borrowed languages. The average Chicano is ridiculed by other Hispanics as being illiterate and that they have a low level of worth in life, often having to hide their origins and speak their languages instead. This is a show of power the other Hispanics are exerting on them; to make them feel weak, inadequate, and overall useless which I found to be a horrible misconduct. They have a rich and vibrant culture that is ever growing and a living, breathing language that is evolving continuously in its quest for individuality. Gloria, through her unique living environment, has a fascinating outlook on what a race and culture represent. She has seen first hand events from different walks of life; from  listening to corridos of the borderlands and hearing the many accents and dialects of her native languages, to going through the Americanized Education system and the gradual removal of their accents to “blend in.” It is because of this that her whole mindset is now geared towards freedom of speech and the freedom of  “true integration”, or in her words, the lack of having to write translations and accommodate for others to read and understand her words. She no longer wants to have to edit herself and constrict her ability to communicate because of a lack of understanding of another’s culture. When she writes it tends to always gravitate back to her slightly stubborn retaliatory stance where she argues in favor of integrating her culture into others without being pressured to change. She refuses to change her thinking, which can cause a lot of issues down the road that would not benefit her cause. When a person moves to a new location it is expected to take part in their culture; she should not force the issue as much as she is. In the end I found her story an interesting read, though repetitive at some points, and agree that there should be some level of acceptance and would caution against focusing so heavily on the one aspect.

Wild Tongue Notes