An Analysis Of Like Mexican By Gary Soto

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“We all use stereotypes all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us,” quoted by Annie Murphy Paul, a journalist. Human beings typically have varied mindsets as they grow up with different cultural values as well as social environment. Author Gary Soto’s “Like Mexican” compares his Mexican life with his wife’s Japanese background, while author Deborah Tannen’s “Gender in the Classroom” contrasts the “gender-related styles” of male and female students. From the two perspectives Soto’s and Tannen’s experiences’ give a universal, stereotypical point how different gender tendencies, conversational styles, and cultural background can result in a miscommunication of one’s behavior.

The role of a male
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In “Like Mexican” Gary Soto’s grandmother uses her wisdom and an advising tone in order to encourage Gary to marry a Mexican girl who is financially poor and is like a “house-wife.” A traditional family such as this author’s shares an outlook how marriage is significant and culturally supervised by the parent or the grandparents. The grandmother looks toward a homogamy for Gary’s marriage. The grandmother’s conversational style is most defined throughout “Like Mexican” since it began with the grandmother’s advices and throughout the essay Gary was yet again spoken by his grandmother. The repetition of the thought constantly wraps around Gary’s mind. In contrast, the essay “Gender in the Classroom” strikingly separates the male and female student’s own conversation styles. From Deborah Tannen, males are likely to speak up to show their “contribution” and to “express themselves on the floor.” Also, male students tend to find the “public classroom setting more conducive to speaking” in a large group. (Tannen pg. 285). However, in “Like Mexican” as the audience, we were not introduced with many of Soto’s male friends or a male gathering in order for Soto to express his thoughts and feelings. In another opposition in “Gender in the Classroom” “most women are more comfortable speaking in private to a small group they know well.” (Tannen 285). In other words, female…show more content…
In “Like Mexican” when Gary announced he fell in love with a Japanese girl his family did not immediately accept the good news Gary thought it to be. Gary’s grandmother wanted him to marry an “Okie” (People different from his own culture.) The false assumption from Gary’s family led to disbelief and hesitation, but Gary realizes that one defined by their race and ethnicity does not determine who you are and your financial situation (Soto 280). In the end Gary Soto managed to be “different” and didn’t follow his Mexican stereotypes. No matter what race, country, ethnicity people are that people can also have similar financial status and living environment was the lesson he learned from his experience. In contrast, Deborah Tannen’s “Gender in the Classroom” conducts surveys and observations by splitting the students into “degree programs they were in, one by gender, and one by conversational style.” The four foreign, male students “spoke in class at least occasionally.”(Tannen 286). Although, it was particularly hard for the Japanese woman to speak in an all female-based group, because the woman was so “overwhelmed” by the change of atmosphere; She was surprised by the other, quiet and shy women to be so talkative and loud. “The differing ethics” from the varied backgrounds led to Tannen’s experiment as a success. Tannen also learned a lesson from her surveys. She thought that “everyone’s style changes in response to the context and other’s styles” no
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