Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Borders and Homelands
The three excerpts for this week brought all of the reading that we have done together by representing the way in which homelands clash in the United States and the different ways people adapt and assimilate. In "Who's Irish?", a hardworking Chinese immigrant is forced to accept her daughter's rejection of her "old-fashioned" parenting techniques and subsequently her culture and ancestry. "Borders" tells a story of a Blackfoot woman who will not define herself as anything but Blackfoot,even if it means she and her son have to sleep in their car. Finally, the "Borderlands" excerpt by Anzaldua, defines the "alien consciousness" or "la mestiza", that is created by borders. Each of these stories and excerpts comments on the way in which human beings adapt to being in a new place and having a new homeland. In "Who's Irish?", the grandmother must accept that her daughter has rejected her but also must realize that she cannot generalize about Irish people, as her son-in-law's mother is extremely kind and accepting. In "Borders", the young boy witnesses his mother standing her ground for her home and her culture. She refuses to define herself as American or Canadian, even though it is only a formality and attracts so much attention that she is given what she wants. It is interesting to see the story through the young boy's eyes as he does not understand why his mother won't just give in. Once again, this shows the way in which the younger generation can be more willing and susceptible to adaptation whereas for older generations, it is harder to let go of their beliefs and former home. Finally, in the "Borderlands" excerpt, the author sums up what it is like to cross a border and become a new person and create a new home. It is about how at some point, when one crosses a border, one has to leave behind some things that characterized their past. It is hard to let go of some parts of your past home but as Anzaldua writes, "Rigidity means death....La mestiza constantly has to shift out of habitual formations". In addition, i think that the ideas expressed in the readings for this week can be applied and compared with the ideas about home and homelands that we have experienced already.