crtical thinking paper

crtical thinking paper

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There is a South African Proverb that states "Until lions write books, history will always glorify the hunter". In his play "Los Vendidos", Luis Valdez tries to become a lion and let the voice of Chicano history be heard. Luis Valdez does this in a satirical way by presenting the views and stereotypes that many American’s have had and continue to have, about Chicano’s in the form of a shop where Chicano "model/robots" are sold. By presenting each Chicano as a robot and stereotype, Luis Valdez tries to earse of the "models" of Chicano’s that people have in their heads and tries to point out that there is a strong Chicano culture and a rich history that has been ignored by American’s for years. "Los Vendidos" is a challenge to all people but especially American’s to think about why these stereotypes are so known in culture and the role that American culture has played in creating and maintaining these stereotypes.
One of the first things that Ms. Jimanez, the American woman "buying" a Chicano model/robot, looks at is the skin color. When the salesman, Mr. Sancho shows her the Indian model she says that he is too dark. She specifies that she is looking for a lighter shade of skin color, or as she says "perhaps beige". Her looking for a lighter shade of Mexican is a representation of what was known as the process of Americanization. Americanization was defined "as the securing through instruction such reactions on the part of non-Americans that they will accept and practice those ideals, customs, methods of living, skills and knowledge that have come to be accepted as representative of the best in American life…." For many people there was a belief that the darkness of a person’s skin had a direct correlation with their intelligence as well as their level of ability and intelligence. If you had darker skin you were assumed to be lazy and unintelligent. This special kind of racism known as hispanophobia, had been prevalent among Anglo-Americans since before the eighteenth century. In his article The Spanish Frontier in North America, David Weber describes what came to be known as the black legend, or la leyenda negra, as the view that the "Spaniards were unusually cruel, avaricious, treacherous, fanatical, superstitious, cowardly, corrupt, decadent, indolent and authoritarian…...


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...a very polite gentleman who speaks fluent English and can give political speeches that are not as radical as the ones that were given in the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Eric’s skin, which is a light brown, is a way of depicting the fact that Chicano's are becoming more and more Americanized and in many ways serves as a warning to future generations of Chicano’s to not Americanize themselves to the point where they lose their heritage. In this sense, Luis Valdez and the Teatro Compesina, become lions in a sense and they re-write history. They show their audience some of the stereotypes and hispanophobia that has up until now, been Chicano history. In doing so Luis Valdez presents the other view and challenges people to think about where, why, who, when and how these stereotypes came to be. "Los Vendidos" challenges the notion of the Anglo-Europeans’ being the only ones that have written history, and by doing so lets the audience know that what has been presented to them thus far is not the real Chicano history. The real Chicano history must come from the lions themselves. It is in this way that Luis Valdez himself rewrites Chicano history and becomes a lion facing his hunters.

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