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Essay on Los Vendidos, Produced by Luis Valdez

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For centuries, the Mexican-American experience has been one of adversity and endurance. The plight of these native peoples has been ignored and many times erased from the American conscience. They have struggled for acknowledgment, they have fought for equality and they have gone to battle for respect. Luis Valdez’s play, Los Vendidos, is just one of many contributions to this effort. A powerfully moving play, Los Vendidos, or the "sell-outs", is a piece created to gain acknowledgement, heighten awareness and to create a sense of camaraderie amongst the people fighting in the Chicano Movement of the late 1960’s and 70’s. Created by a population that had been victimized, beaten and driven to the ground by the powerful grip of American society, this work is just one example the artistic medium of expression used by the participants of the Chicano Movement. This play addresses numerous issues regarding the Mexican-American experience and the attempts to "Americanize" a population that was prevented from assimilating into American culture and society. However, some of the issues presented that I found to be most intriguing were the portrayal of both women and war veterans in addition to the overall Anglo-American reaction to the Mexican-American people.

Set in a barren storefront the sales man, Senor Sancho introduces the audience to his "used Mexican lot". Within the store, roughly a dozen models are stationed, immortalized in their eras. These models are the embodiment of the stereotypes that American society has imposed on the Mexican-Americans for the last several centuries. As Ms. Jimenez peruses the store in search of an appropriate Mexican-American to take to the governor’s luncheon, she critiques and rejects each model pres...


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...e way in which Mexican-Americans have been treated in this country is certainly less then humane. Yet their progress and success is notable. Today, although work still needs to be done, the Mexican-Americans have made America hear their voices; they have claimed some of the power that they had always deserved, and they are using it to make that needed difference. Change is always possible but in this case, it was far from easy.

Bibliography

Chicano!: history of the Mexican American civil rights movement / produced by National
Latino Communications Center and Galán Productions, Inc., in cooperation with KCET, Los Angeles.

Ruiz, Jose Luis.

Los Vendidos: produced by Luis Valdez

Vargas, Zaragosa. Major Problems in Mexican American History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.
http://www.utexas.edu/ftp/student/subtex/.web/Groups/crossborder/emma.html


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