Overcoming obstacles In the book, Growing up Chicana/o, written by various authors, the characters from each story experience many situations where stereotypes that discriminate their race make their lives much more problematic. Even though these children are knocked down, all of them seem to get back up and become stronger, more mature people. Maturity was one of the most Important themes of this book. Racial stereotypes create obstacles for Chicana/o children in school or in extra curricular activities.
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The Chicana/o children in stories like, Eleven, The Scholarship Jacket, and Pocho all deal itch stereotypes that hurt or discriminate against them. In the story, The Scholarship Jacket by Marta Salina, Martha is a hardworking girl who Is thought of as not worthy for a prestigious award, due to the fact that she is Mexican. Martha had worked hard her entire life to earn an average of an A in every single one of her classes, but Martha being a different race created a barrier between her and finally receiving the scholarship Jacket that she deserved.
This Is expressed when her teacher, Mr. Boone, says, “Martha is do Mr Boone wanted to give the scholarship Jacket to a white girl named Joann, because her father was on the board of the school and owned a local store in town even though she didn’t deserve it. Martha Is discriminated and thought of as a not worthy candidate for this prestigious award because of her ethnicity. The principal constructs a way to try and make Martha ineligible for the Jacket by informing her, “This year the Board decided to charge fifteen dollars, which still wont cover the complete cost of the Jacket”(129).
This brings up another stereotype, that Mexicans are generally poor, that discriminates Martha. This new rule stops Martha from receiving the Jacket that she has earned. The stereotypes and assumption that she was poor was not fair to Martha, or the standards of the award. Martha showed the courage to ask her hardworking grandfather for the fifteen dollars and then tell the principle with dignity, that her grandfather will not bepaying the money. This showed what a strong, mature person Martha was and no matter what obstacles were set in front of her, she would always stand up for herself because she knows that she deserved the ward.
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The principle realizes that she is the clear deserver of the Jacketand makes an executive decision and says, “Okay damn it. We’ll make an exception in your case. I’ll tell the board, you’ll get your In the end. her race was finally overlooked and she obtained the scholarship Jacket that she truly earned through all of her hard work throughout the years. In the story, Eleven by Sandra Cisneros, Rachel is singled out and thought to have owned a nasty, old, and tattered red sweater, because she is Mexican. which makes school extremely arduous for her.
This rings up the stereotype that Mexicans are poor and wear old, tattered clothing. This is portrayed when the teacher asks whom the Jacket belongs to and Sylvia Salivar says, “l think It belongs to 56). This shows that she thinks the sweater is Rachel’s Just because she believes in the stereotype that Mexicans wear old tattered clothing and are probably poor. This is very hard for Rachel to deal with because she is being wrongfully discriminated Just because she is Mexican. Rachel expresses how tOf2 from it as possible. I even move my chair a little to the right. Not mine, not mine, not mine. (1 58). This displays how much she hates being thought of as the owner of this sweater. Not only was a classmate discriminating her but her teacher as well. As her teacher saw Rachel trying to get as far away from this sweater as possible, she said, muffs put that sweater on right now and no more nonsense. “(1 58). By her teacher saying this, it displays that she also believes that the sweater belongs to her Just because of her ethnicity. This is when Rachel finally breaks down and starts weeping n the middle of class, all because she was discriminated for being Mexican.
By the end of this terrible experience for her, she gathers herself and then finally the true owner of the sweater is revealed. In the story, Pocho by Jos© Antonio, Richard is forced into fighting his friend Thomas in a boxing match, and then is asked to fight again by the pro boxer of the town to make money because he thinks he and his family are poor due to the fact that he is Mexican. This creates a substantial problem for Richard because he does not like to fight and is extremely uncomfortable with the hole situation.
By the pro boxer assuming the Richard and his family need money, it brings up the stereotype that Mexicans are poor and work meaningless Jobs like gardening that don’t pay well. This is displayed when the pro says to Richard, “Mexicans don’t get too much chance to amount to much. You wanna pick prunes the rest of your life? “(168). This shows that the pro thinks that Mexicans can’t amount to anything Just because they are Mexicans. The pro then announces to Richard that he is going to talk things over with his father, but then Richard shows his wit when he responds and says, miou don’t know my old man.
He’s already been in Jail for knifing three guys. ” (169). Richard is using the stereotype that Mexicans are associated with knifes to play with the pro because he knows that he is intellectually superior to the pro. I think Richard used this discrimination towards himself and other Mexicans to prove the pro wrong by showing that he was already smarter than him by the age of thirteen. This very much portrayed that he was mature and was not going to let anyone discriminate him, his family, or his race.
In this novel, chicana/o children were discriminated, looked over, and singled out Just because of their race. These children had to face many obstacles because of racial stereotypes in and out of school. Each one of these children showed that no matter what obstacles due to their race were set in front of these children, they would find a way to overcome the challenges and become stronger and more mature people while doing it. These three stories really showed how important it is to be able to succeed in life even when there are obstacles blocking you from doing so.See More on Racism