Feed on

Professor Alvarez,

I enjoyed your class a lot. This is my third year in college and you were the first and only English Professor that focused on the construction of writing. You were the first and only teacher that taught me how to write without “to-be” verbs. Not using “to-be” verbs really clarifies my writing and improved my grades in my other English classes. Any time I had questions
about works cited or about anything class related you helped me. I like the feedback that you give on responses because you analyzed my work and gave me helpful advice. The way you prepared the class with the blogs and the responses was good because I didn’t feel like the final paper was hard because I had so much work to choose from. However, I did feel like the last ten blogs were overwhelming to do because I wanted to really focus on my final paper. Overall I really enjoyed this class. Thank you for all the patience and great feedback. Good
luck and congratulations with your promotion and moving (I’m not sure if you said Connecticut or Kentucky in class).

Thank you,

Maria Cancemi

Cause it’s my problem
If I wanna pack up and run away
It’s my problem, it’s my problem
If I feel the need to hide (Marina & the Diamonds 1:10)

The lyrics turn into a worried perspective that exclusively shines upon the hyphen identity crisis. To “pack up and run away” connects to how minorities “pack up” and “run away” to America in search for a better life (Marina & the Diamonds 1:10).  The phrase, “If I feel the need to hide” relates to the immigrants arriving into America and they “hide” their culture in order to not be cast off as a minority. With the word “hide” which symbolic for to covering a past lifestyle in a different state through practicing a new way of lifestyle in America (Marina & the Diamonds 1:10).  Also, the word “hide” gives the tone of paranoia.  These lyrics go along with Lucia Suarez article “Julia Alvarez and the Anxiety of the Latina Representation” that explores author Julia Alvarez as an author having paranoia of her identity as a hyphen. The “problem” revolves around the fact that a person transformed form one ethnicity into a combined ethnicity for example Latino-American (Marina & the Diamonds 1:10).  The “problem” also can be the adjustments that come along with the transformation of one’s label of identity. One issue is the person revaluates themselves and wonders now that they moved every accomplishment they make is it the new hyphen side of them that caused it or the old culture that caused it. The “problem” is that the person was upset with their primary country and wants to go to another country for a solution with their economic mobility.


Unsatisfied praying
Sad inside
In this life
Unsatisfied waiting (Marina & the Diamonds 1:58)

Power of Mohr the author of “Nilda” produces a warning primarily to the readers through hid passage about how to survive the disadvantages of life. Pop band: Marina and the Diamonds comments on the disadvantages about the denial that people have when regarding hardships in life when she sings the song “Are You Satisfied?” from 2010 album “The Family Jewels”. Marina perceives the life in two perspectives: worried and witty. Nilda’s mother feels displeased “In this life” with her pregnancies and personal life with men (Marina & the Diamonds 1:58). A method to relieve how the mother’s emotion of feeling “Sad inside” is communicated to her daughter Nilda about the disadvantages of being a woman can lead to no independence (Marina & the Diamonds 1:58). Marina states “Unsatisfied waiting” explains the tone of disappointment and “waiting” refers Nilda “waiting” for her mom to give a loving speech before her death instead of a ridged lesson about life. The word “waiting” can also be symbolic of Nilda’s mom waiting for her independence. Both Nilda and the both remain holding onto a moment in their lives where they can’t change.  Nilda’s mother can’t change her past actions of getting pregnant. Just like how Nilda cannot change what kind of speech her mother is giving her before she dies. They are both “waiting” for a change that is never going to happen.

Alvarez […] use writing to cross-examine gaps in memory and to explore the ways in which these allow her to think about Dominican-American identity on both sides of the hyphen. […] anxiety of identiy and identification: a complicated preoccupation with not being Dominican, even in the Dominican Republic. ( Suarez 121, 123)

Word choice “cross-examine” refers to over looking at the gaps in memories and trying to make a connection. See if memories can overlap one another (Suarez 121). Just like in the story “Nilda” written by Mohr. Nilda’s mom “cross-examine[s]” her gaps in life of where she has independence and when she lost the independence.  Then when she “cross-examine[s]” she realizes that pregnancy is the connection and root to her downfall in independence. Key term “anxiety of identity”, Alvarez personality got affected from what identity society accepts in the Dominican Republic verse what identity society accepts in America. In Dominican Republic acts too much like an American verse in America Alvarez looks too Dominican. Critic
Suarez states that Alvarez always ends up being part of the minority (Suarez 123). Continuing to compare to “Nilda” the character of the mother exhibits the same “anxiety of identity” when feeling like she lived no life of her own. She did not use the American hyphen of herself to get an education and achieve success in life. Before the mother dies she’s paranoid that her daughter one day will have the same anxiety about her identity too. To break the cycle Nilda’s mother confesses her anxiety about her identity in hoping that Nilda will understand and break the cycle. To break the cycle she must “cross-examine” her mother’s life and make sure not to make the same mistake of getting a man and getting pregnant.


“literary” performances, that is, memory is reshaped and, in this case, exaggerated for the comic relief of powerful identity issues […] the author’s own experiences with assimilation, permits the author to use writing as a performative rite of memory. (Suarvez 126)

Word choice of “‘literary’ performances” is used to show Alvarez’s “comic relief” or humor to release the person that has problems or questions with their identity.  The comedy reconstructs painful memories.  The painful memories are refers to her knowing that your part of her Dominican culture has much memories of dictator Trujillo. Alvarez uses “assimilation” as a key term to demonstrate her own experience of “assimilation” into the book she writes.  The novel In the Time of the Butterflies written by Julia Alvarez is a book about the Mirabal sisters.  Alvarez fabricates moments in the Mirabal sisters life in order to infuse her feelings and experiences of her assimilation into America. Critic Lucia Suarvez in her article “Julia Alvarez and the Anxiety of the Latina Representation” uses the words “‘literary’ performances,” “assimilation,” and “comic relief” to label the meaning and intent behind Alvarez’s writing technique. Suarez undergoes a psychology perspective. It seems that Suarvez is trying to point out that Alvarez unconscious gets revealed in her novel.

This ambiguity is consequential to the history and politics of the Dominican Republic, which has repeatedly negated a strong important African heritage. […] to propose that broken memory is the root to all identification. (Suarez 118)

The key term “ambiguity” describes something unbelievable regarding the dictatorship of Trujillo and the circumstances that deal with Trujillo.  This ambiguity is presented by the author Alvarez as a lack of knowledge or detail that certain writers have of past governmental problems.  If the lack of knowledge and understanding that Dominicans have on behalf of the government and its history. The word choice “broken memory” is the cause or start of “all identifications” in the characters that are from the Dominican Republic under the reign of Trujillo. The memories that people have of the Dominican Republic influence what they say and write about being Dominican. Critic Suarez uses assimilation to demonstrate the effects of the diaspora.  Due to the diaspora the Dominican culture either fused into the American culture or lost its essence altogether.  Here we see Suarez mentioning ideas regarding the melting pot.  If the culture is lost into the fusion a melting pot occurs. Meaning that the Dominican culture is gone at what comes out is just American. Being fused into the American culture would be acceptance.  However getting lost into the American culture illustrates denial of Dominican culture.

There are so many hyphenated people […] I’m not a Dominican writer. I can’t pretend to be Dominican. But by the same token, when people ask me if I’m an American writer, I have to say I don’t think of myself as being in the same tradition […]explore the gaps in history that leave us asking ourselves the same unanswerable questions. (Suarez 120)

Alvarez as a writer main interest focuses on the migration of the people from the Dominican Republic.  The migration is called Dominican diaspora.  Due to desperate times migration occurred and that migration led to bi-culturalism in America. A key term mentions is “hyphenated people” people such as Latin-Americans. Alvarez does not see herself as a Dominican
or an American because she sees herself as both Dominican and American. Another term is “unanswerable questions”.  Due to the “gaps in history” or the hidden, secretive times in history many people kept things silent. Therefore, information could not spread; leaving future generations many questions but no possible way of receiving answers. So the “unanswerable questions” are the questions of her identity. Suarez analyzes Alvarez as a person stuck between cultures.  Alvarez cannot determine which kind of writer she is “Dominican writer ” or “American writer” because when she thinks of one ethnicity such as Dominican she feels more like the American and when she thinks of casting herself as a American she
feels more like a Dominican. A hyphen person demonstrates that they feel indecisive of where to belong. Alvarez fights for which ethnicity should deserve the credit and she struggles by thinking should neither deserve the credit?

(blog 33) Hyphen

Various ethno-racial groups has been subjected to discriminatory treatment and has reasons to become increasingly conscious of their ‘hyphenated’ identity as they gradually learnt to negotiate the negative experiences they had gone through over the centuries. (Sengupta 1)

The “discriminatory treatment” feeds into “negative experiences they had gone through over the centuries” and defines the “‘hyphenated’ identity”.  Discrimination against race and culture affects an assimilating immigrant’s identity.  An immigrant has the label as a hyphen to marker that half of their status withholds a foreign identity.  That foreign background brings on a barrier to their status casting them into a minority. A hyphens homeland and culture becomes a contradiction between them self and between the majority that discriminates. Thus the discrimination becomes “conscious” or a reminder of the minority’s dual cultural identity. Hyphenated immigrants come to a fork in the road when “negative experiences” bring about curiosity of belonging. The treatment “over the centuries” results a hyphen immigrant questioning which culture they most fit in with.



Addressing […] issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in multicultural America. Its theoretical […] comprehensive coverage of the diversity of American writings makes it a hand reference tool and a reliable guide for students of American literature as well of post colonial theory. Consequently, postcolonial creates appropriate space for new interdisciplinary sites, for emphasizing the crossing and recrossing of all kinds of borders: imaginative, […] cultural, etc. (Postcolonial Theory and the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Literature 240, 238)

The “diversity of American writings” demonstrates the varied thought processes of authors in their “American writings”. A “reference tool and a reliable guide” to unveil the mindset of the past and how it can be understood in the present. The word “reference tool” demonstrates a second opinion that authors offer through literature.  A “reliable guide” illustrates the dependable results of comprehension and knowledge gained from reading the arguments hence, “comprehensive coverage”. Authors provide an understandable widespread amount of information. However critic Dhar specifically addresses the context of postcolonial theory as a “Addressing” subject of culture abides by the post-colonial structure in regarding independence verse dependence.  Postcolonial theory asserts “issues of race, ethnicity, and gender” and these three topics formulate the minority depending on skin color and cultural
background. The theory allows the creation of ethnic marker to have an understanding viewpoint through different types of literature that reveals particular lifestyles. Regarding how history affects the author’s standard of living. Dhar argues that postcolonial highlights “the crossing and recrossing of all kinds of borders: imaginative, […] cultural, etc” and the key terms “crossing,” “recrossing,” and “borders” explains the barriers created “imaginative” and “cultural”.  Also, “crossing” demonstrates the completion of a journey and “recrossing” symbolizes the visitation and reflection of the journey. Dealing with literature an author plays with the past and present to communicate a “border” or restriction that they overcame or still fighting for. Adding “etc.” to as “all kinds of borders” gives an unlimited range. Unlimited range contains freedom of discussion amongst any topic.  Therefore, obtaining no limitations of topics which concludes a significant signal. The signal that postcolonial prescribes literature has no “border” while expressing variety of “border” conflicts.  Dhar constructs a discrimination free writing zone for American writers through the lens of postcolonial theory.

Cultural assimilation through addition become minorities preferred identity into the United States mainstream. Adding the American as part their Latinos identity doesn’t increase their rights as Americans. Latino-Americans do not have the opportunity to practice their rights as Americans due to the majority forming a barrier on access of resources in the United States.  The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature paves a route for Latino-Americans to speak forth their perception as a hyphenated ethic person.  The literary works of Ceaser Estrada Chavez’s “Cesar Chavez (1927-1993),” Nicholasa Mohr’s “Nilda”, Jose Marti’s “Our America”, and Eugenio Maria De Hostos’s “League of Puerto Rican Patriots” brought insight and awareness of the obstacles that a Latino-American faces as a hyphenated minority.  Chavez speaks about the barriers that majorities maintain for minorities with work ethics.  Mohr expresses upon family ethics, education value, and the strength to use the U.S. education as a scapegoat to mobility in independence.  Marti offers a solution to improve governmental scenarios by providing government in education as one of the fundamentals.  De Hostos has concerns with the Assembly and their control on the schools fundamental curriculum.  The majority that sets barriers on the Latino-Americans stunt their independence to achieve an education and a job in order to support their minority self, community, or family. Post-modernism approaches the majority’s ideal on Americans traditional principles into the minority’s non-traditional path that alters from the pre-established model drawn by majorities. The traditional approach set by majority’s deal with twisting the ethics regarding the law, work, or education. A post-modernism lens obtains an appropriate representation of what the anthology writers promote in their literature and the un-traditional promotions pose a threat to the majority in the United States. The anthology writers maintain their identity as the
minority with use of un-traditional preaches of their emotions as a hyphenated American through children’s fiction novel, speech, and a diary.

Older Posts »

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar