Sample Essay

With reference to Antonio, the most important aspect for him was that whether this hybridity is a fusion of cultures, “a confluence of different traditions which are homogenized into a new culture”, often termed syncretism, or a hybridization process, “an uneasy and agonistic self-splitting”, with its inherent unstableness and mutability. (Anaya, 9)

If the protagonist of Bless Me, Ultima, Antonio Marez, and Gloria Anzaldua’s “description of mestiza” is compared, it comes to light that Anzaldua fulfils the requirments of an ethnic piece of work as the issues being discussed by Anzaldua have broader thematic connections and they demonstrate the ethnical conflict existent in the society of the Chicana (Caminero-Santangelo, 115). As the ‘”new mestiza”, quotes Caminero-Santangelo from Anzaldua, strives to fight against the conflicts of identity that she has to undergo in the Mexican culture, she “learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture” and “learns to juggle cultures” owing to her “plural identity” (Caminero-Santangelo, 115).

Unlike Anazaldua’s succesfull incorporatiion of the ethnic themes in the literature, Anaya fails to fulfil the requirments of an ethical American novel. The reason for this failure, according to Caminero-Santangelo, is that Anaya does not deviate from her focus from the theme of bildungsroman and her “representation of identity conflict appears highly personal” (Caminero-Santangelo, 115-116).  The identity crisis of Antonio Marez, in Bless Me, Ultima, does not corelate with the broader theme of ethnic conflict of the Mexicans. Caminero-Santangelo goes on to call the story of Antonio a “family matter without larger implications for the Chicanos” (Caminero-Santangelo, 116).

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