School Papers

“We except entitled How to Tame a Wild

“We invent the world through language. The world occurs through language”- Mal Pancoast. Language is the way the world communicates with each other. It can help communicate many great qualities about a person: whether they are male or female, how they were brought up, were they fall in society, and how old do they appear to be…as well as many other characteristics. For people who think outside the box, language can have a deeper, more defined and interpersonal meaning. For example, those that belong to Chicano culture, their language is a beautifully designed combination of the Spanish and English language.  The unique way these people developed a connection with their language is incomparably different from the way people who speak Spanish connect to that language. In the except entitled How to Tame a Wild Tongue, Gloria Anzaldua describes her experiences of growing up Chicano. She argues that the way language is viewed by the Chicano people is through its lengthy history and culture is a powerful, important part of who she feels she really is.   First, Anzaldua talks about the history of the Chicanos and the judgement of others: “Even our own people, other Spanish speakers nos quieren poner candados en la boca want to place locks on our mouths. They would hold us back with their bag of reglas de academia” (Anzaldua 27). Due to the fact that this is a different way of speaking Spanish., they are closed off or shut down by the large group of people of only speak English. The Chicano language is known as being something other than the Spanish language. Americans, who felt they were superior sought out to make the Chicano language unspecial and an incorrect version of their language. Chicanos are muted from speaking either Spanish or English, making the choice to create their own identity: “Chicanos don’t identify with the Anglo American cultural values and we don’t identify with the Mexican cultural values… we became a distinct people… we became aware of our reality and acquired a name and a language (Chicano Spanish) that reflected that reality” (Anzaldua 33-34).  Attitudes towards their language also excluded Chicanos from the dominant Spanish and English cultures, being known as something other than in that family. Despite being discriminated by their parents, the Chicano people chose to willingly construct their own personal identities, defining themselves by the languages that attacked them and the reasoning behind the attacks. As a result of this desire to become something new and unique, their culture and language was born.  Secondly, Anzaldua examines the relationship between their culture and language through the identity from the cultural aspect. For example, she states: “For a people who cannot entirely identify with either standard (formal, Castilian) Spanish nor standard English, what recourse is left to Chicanos but to create their own language? … Chicano Spanish sprang out of a need to identify ourselves as a distinct people” (Anzaldua 28). This language was formulated to fit their identity as a separation from the dominiant English and Spanish speakers. It expresses the view-points of Chicano identity: people who aren’t accepted as one are to create a language to make themselves one. Anzaldua describes her dissimilarity in Chicano culture, “There is no one Chicano language just as there is no one Chicano experience” (Anzaldua 30). This means that there is not a single language that exhibits language does not define Chicano culture, but only a small piece of it. To conclude, the element of Chicano language that reflects the element of Chicano people, expresses that the personalized Chicano language is linked very adjacent to Chicano people in the development of their identity. In a way, culture and language share a connection.  Thirdly, Anzaldua explores this link and the value the Chicano people have with their language in depth through cultural perception and personal identity. For example, she describes the judgement of Chicanos from the dominiant Spanish population: “Chicanos who grew up speaking Chicano Spanish have internalized the belief that we speak poor Spanish. It is illegitimate, a bastard language” (Anzaldua 30).  As both the Spanish and English speakers refuse the Chicano language, they also refuse their culture. Next, she displays through her recollection of contact with other Chicanos on how these negative views and the Chicano views of others belonging to their culture share a connection: “Chicana feminists often skirt around each other with suspicion and hesitation… to be close to another Chicana is like looking into the mirror. We are afraid of what we’ll see in there. Pena. Shame. Low estimation of self” (Anzaldua 30). Chicanos views and the negative attitudes expressed by Spanish speakers signify this connection. These ideas show how the Chicano people regard language in their culture. Then, she shows the connection of language and personal identity through the way she wrote her except, using English and Spanish.  Her experience as a Chicana is rich, making her except written on not one language, compared to other excepts, books or articles we normally read. This alone shows the divide shown throughout her life. Lastly, she identifies herself, creating a voice that is only hers: I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue – my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence” (Anzaldua 30).  she chose to signify this difference, and the exploration of her identity, to say that this cultural divide will not affect her but only make her stronger as a person.  Lastly, as the Chicano language is defined through negative differences, as well as Anzaldua identity. For example, she states, “If you really want to hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin to linguistic identity—I am my language. Until I take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself” (Anzaldua 30). She is neither English nor Spanish, she is Chicana. She explains to understand the Chicanos people, you must understand their language. The Chicano language is must more than just a language used to communicate with one another. It is a language that in tales lengthy history, personal identities, judgmental views, struggling efforts and valueable meanings.  In conclusion, she describes her experiences with extreme discrimination and growing up as a Chicano. She argues that the way language is viewed by the Chicano people is through its lengthy ancestry and culture is a powerful, important part of w