The Structure Of Gordon 's Literature Essay

The Structure Of Gordon 's Literature Essay

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The structure of Gordon’s literature is both strategic and sequential. There is a reason that she begins her writing with the seizure of the orphans from the Mexican families. The narrative begins at a point of tension and establishes the main concept of the study which is race relations and formations. She then leads into examining Catholic orphanages in the early 1900s Northern United States and the racial relationship between whiteness and Mexican identity in the Southwest. Gordon (1999) states, “It [the story] reveals how racial, ethnic, or nationalist fervor, furious as it may be, can also be transient and changeable” (1999:ix). Gordon is providing the social-historical context of how the Irish children eventually became identified with “whiteness”. She is establishing the fluidity of race. In comparison with the movement of the orphans from the industrial North to the mining Southwest, race is fluid and constantly moving. It changes and transforms based on the social and cultural ideologies of a particular time, space, and boundary(ies). Gordon’s sources include the archives of the U.S. Census of the 1900s and the New York Foundling Hospital. Gordon (1999) states, “As this narrative is rigorously a work of non-fiction, I could not make it fuller or embellish it beyond the evidence I had. I interpreted the evidence to explore its many meanings, but invented nothing” (1999:ix). Since the Mexican women were not included in the court case, Gordon had to use secondary sources in order to construct the voices of the Mexican women. Anzaldua (1987) also uses a similar methodology. She uses a poetic approach to describe the geographical, political, and social formations of race and conquest in the American Southwest and Mexico. S...


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...orderlands” (1987:21). Anzaldua writes in both Spanish in English to 1) emphasize her American and Latino heritage and 2) create a visible example of borders and boundaries using words.
Gordon, Omi and Winat, and Anzaldua situate their narratives in strategic, yet paralleling ways. Anzaldua examines her position in relation to Mexican-U.S. interactions by playing creatively with poetry and history. Gordan uses a more data driven approach by information on racial formation and relations between the formations of race in the Southwest U.S. in the 1900s. Omi and Winat accomplish this same technique by supporting their theory of racial formation in 1960s-1990s U.S. in conversation with other theorizes. Each author analyzes racial formation, defines borders/borderlands, and uses a panoramic vision to support their arguments using concepts of race, gender, and movement.

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