Look for use of repetition in your readings. What is this alerting us as readers? What do the authors want us to learn?

The Mestiza, Borderlands, and What it means to Live Cross Culturally


Notice the terms used in many of our readings: Mestiza, the Borderlands, and cross cultures. Listen to changes in tone and feel the intensity rise up off the page of these writings. Notice how Cofer uses details to connect us to her world: “Not many years later that area too would be mainly Puerto Rican. It was as if the heart of the city map were being gradually colored in brown-cafe-con-leche brown. Our Color” (Bryant, 2010, p. 232). Ask yourself what deeper meaning the description.


Look for use of repetition in your readings. What is this alerting us as readers? What do the authors want us to learn? Again, read for meaning, but also read for the experience: the sound of the words, the images, and the rhythm of the words.


As you read, you will want to think about the historical and cultural contexts in which the authors lived and wrote. Placing yourself in their shoes means, for example, what is it like to not understand the language where you are living, to not understand and join in, or to not be free to communicate your thoughts and ideas? How many different languages do we know and how does this influence how we live? Think about how it must have felt living between the traditions you grew up with and the culture you currently face. You may even ask yourself: how well would I have done in this environment?


Judith Ortiz Cofer

Judith Ortiz Cofer often credits her grandmother’s avid storytelling to her love of language and writing. In her writing, she “shows the tension that is an integral part of a life lived within and between two cultures” (Bryant, 2010, p. 230)


Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros writes with a provocative, pointed satirical, renegade style using poignant imagery while exploring the changes Mexicans face immigrating to the United States: steadfast commitments, the resilient woman who endures hardships, heartbreaks, love, alienation, poverty, and renewals (Bryant, 2010, p. 202).




Compare/Contrast the mestiza, borderlands, and cultural issues found in these two writers’ work. Please respond in a five-paragraph APA essay format with quotes, proper in-text citations, and references.


Please be sure to include the following in your assignment submission:


  1. Write a formal, 5-paragraph essay in APA format, including a cover page, in response to this question. Base your answer on your own observations and support your assertions quoting from your assigned readings.
  1. Read the assigned readings from the Latino Literature. Highlight quotes, summarize, or paraphrase from your readings and be sure to include an in-text citation in proper APA format (Author, year, p. X).
  1. We must include three quotes from our readings. When we discuss literature, it is all about the words before us. They are ours to consider and reflect on. So, you will want to make a strong assertion and prove it, or support it, by quoting from the readings. Include three quotes in our essay.
  1. Create a strong thesis for your essay. A thesis states your main idea in a sentence. A sample thesis (which you are free to use) might be: The concepts of the mestiza consciousness, borderlands, and cross-culture challenges influence the writings of Latino writers.
  1. Be sure to include an APA reference page.