Analysis Of Latin Night At The Pawnshop

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In this brief poem by Martin Espada titled “Latin Night at the Pawnshop,” sacrifice is a harsh reality met by many people who come to America searching for the ultimate American dream. This unpleasant portrait of America represents the tension between societies that unify a mixture of cultures versus a society that requires people to renounce part of their cultural characteristics to assimilate into their new community. The complete set of instruments of a salsa band is for sale in a pawnshop window. Therefore, the discarded items describe the unfortunate failure of a salsa band. Why did the salsa band fail? Did the musicians simply lose interest with the hobby? Was it that the public didn’t accept and support salsa bands in the area? Was it merely the fact that the treasured cultural tradition of salsa music was gradually dwindling? The poem doesn't give a specific resolution, however, it leaves the reader with a gloomy feeling that indicates the death, sorrow, and loss of something extremely precious: objects in a pawnshop hanging motionless like tickets on a corpse.
The po...

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