Los Vendidos Analysis

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“Los Vendidos,” translated to “The Sellouts” by Luis Valdez is a one act play that draws attention to the prejudice against Mexicans. Salesman, Honest Sancho, is a used Mexican lot owner that sells “robots,” each representing a Mexican model stereotype. The secretary, Miss Jimenez, works for the governor of the town who has sent her to purchase a Mexican to help their votes. Sancho shows the secretary the many different Mexicans they have from a farm worker to Pachuco (a lazy Mexican that causes trouble), to a revolucionario and a Mexican-American. Each Mexican model has a quality that the secretary doesn’t like, represented through a stereotype, which shows the prejudices society holds on the race. Although throughout the play the Mexicans…show more content…
Bertolt Brecht successfully accomplishes this in his work through his technique called the alienation effect where “he forces the audience to look at everything in a fresh light and, above all, to think” (Barranger, pg. 121). His main goal by using this was for the audience to “absorb his social criticism and to carry new insights out of the theater into their own lives” (Barranger, 121). Valdez applies this technique through his use of the Secretary, representing the American population as a whole, and the stereotypes of the Mexicans. When she is first introduced to Sancho, she comes with a list of criteria for what the Mexican should acquire including: “suave, debonair, dark, but not too dark, beige, American-made and hard-working” (Valdez, p. 1288). From the start of the play, Mexicans are already being stereotyped on how they should look and act to be accepted by Americans and their culture. This gets the audience thinking of their own perception on Mexicans and what qualities they might consider if they were in this situation. From the qualities represented of each of the “models,” the Secretary then denies any quality of the model that isn’t sufficient enough for her liking, and “shops” around until she finds the right…show more content…
The same ownership applies to Nora in “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen. In the play, Ibsen “explored the conflict between social and moral restrictions of bourgeois society and the psychological, often unconscious, demands of individual freedom” (Worthen, p. 666). Nora, throughout the play, is owned by her husband, Helmer, who restricted her from doing certain things, such as going into town to get macaroons. This represents the lack of power Nora has in her life being a women in a society where a man can overpower her, and how gender roles take place in this time. The same concept is shown through the Mexican models where the American’s buying them have power over them. They are bought and used for work from the used Mexican lot, and don’t have any control over who buys them and what work they

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