Essay about Madonnas of Echo Park

Submitted By theddddddddd
Words: 983
Pages: 4

1) At its core, Latino literature is about the tension between double attachment to place, language and identity, this is seen several times throughout the book. The first example of cultural contradiction I found in The Madonnas of Echo Park is seen through Efren Rodriguez and his narrow minded perception of Mexicans. Although he bashes, profiles and judges every Mexican on his bus for their background and actions, he employs a typical hispanic male tactic: he offered Felicia a free ride for Aurora and all of her friends in exchange for a date with him. When she denies, he charges her extra. To me, this showed that although he despises his kind, he is just as hispanic as every person on that bus. The second example of double attachment is seen in chapter 5, specifically in the scene where Efron’s father talked to Juan’s girlfriend’s Chinese father, Phoc. Phoc says, “But out there, your home. Those people, Mexicans, like your home, Mexico. Right outside the door… We help each other because we want Chinese to succeed. Mexican want himself to succeed only.” Here we get a different point of view of America. Previously, the book mentioned many times that this land belonged to Americans and white people only. Even the hispanics who were born in America knew that this was not there land. However, here we have, Phoc, a man of Chinese decent who sees the complete opposite. He sees the land belonging to Mexicans and the only reason that they do not prosper is because of other Mexicans, not because of Americans.
2) In chapter 6, “The Hustler,” I found various examples of the the historical fact, the annexation of territory, being acknowledged. Page 113 reads, “the new apartment buildings and stores, the fresh coats of paint on the doors and window frames on abandoned shops, new storefront sign in english covering the old sun-bleached Spanish ones, the odd presence of bearded white mean with coffee, not six packs on the street corners, Where are the chicanos?”Additionally, the same chapter, page 119, reads, “The liquor I used to pick you scores and run lottery ticket hustles is now owned by a pair of “ you buy, you fly” Arab pricks…” Furthermore the most obvious historical reference occurs in the very first chapter of the book, “ We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that was once ours.” Finally, the Chavez Ravine, now dodger stadium, concept spread out throughout the book also addresses the gentrification of latino neighborhoods which was the result of Colonial enterprises.
3) a) Because Aurora lost Blackjack, she had to go back to the neighborhoods of her childhood and was practically forced to explore her roots. The almost losing of Blackjack made Aurora realize how much she loved him, her mom and her neighborhood which completely changed her relationship with all three.Aurora spent her whole life trying to escape echo park but then she realizes that no matter how bad it was or how good it is, it was her home regardless.
b)The Jacaranda trees symbolized Felicia’s hopes and dreams as she was being excited from her household in the beginning. However, as I saw them more throughout the book, they represent different series of events. They were an indicator of something big and dramatic like the climax of each chapter.
c) The constant coldness suffered by Beatriz and why did it go away Beatriz’s coldness didn't go away until she realized that the one thing she really needed was her daughter, Felicia. My interpretation of her coldness was Beatriz’s emptiness and the meaningless life she was living after her husband, Gabriel, passed away.
4) My favorite character in the novel is Felicia, who’s character isn’t fully