Those Alienated Humans The early 20th century witnessed a drastic transformation in the pattern and forms of literary works which constantly reflected the connections with the Trans American experiences. Among the various significant works of the modern era of American fictions the most appropriate ones seemed to be Both Paredes’s George Washington Gomez and Anzaldua’s Borderlands…
The novel George Washington Gomez written by America Paredes talks about a boy who grows up in Jonesville by the river (the author used a fictional city to symbolize the town of Brownsville) during the initial part of the 20th century, when there was an worldwide turmoil in economic , social and political front. United State of America was slowly consolidating their position and was emerging out as a new global power. There was internal conflict among various states over the issues of different culture, races, language, social practices and what not. Texas was not an exception due to its close proximity to Mexico the perennial problem of illegal immigrants was added to distort the social and cultural fabric of the localite, who used to suffer from the identity-crisis, which is vividly depicted in the character of Gualinto, the central character, who came to be known as George Washington Gomez in the later part of his life. In his early life Gualinto nurtured the hope of helping the poverty-stricken Chicanos, in his hometown. But life changed dramatically and Gualinto got married to the daughter of a Texas-ranger, a white man, and slowly became a tool of the upper strata of the society, whom he used to despise since his childhood days. This is the case of identity conflict within the kid who experienced an Anglo-Texan ambience specifically in the educational system in his growing up days, but slowly swayed away from his belief, his character, his society, with passage of time (Paredes 1990). The protagonist gradually changes as time passes and all his ideals vanishes leaving behind an invisible mechanical soul of his much like ‘Hollow men’ of Eliot (Brauhardt 2010). He wears suits, disrespects Uncle Feliciano and forgets his own values, cultures and identity. The protagonist falls a prey under the dominant groups and deviates from his real self. Here he is different from that of the Invisible man, who does not change his identity at any cost. From both the novels we get to know about two different protagonists who more or less hail from the same background but their journey towards life changes due to their different socio-economic- cultural aspects. The schooling of Gualinto varies from that of the nameless protagonist of ‘The Invisible Man’. The Invisible man attended a Negro school whereas Gualinto attended a school which made him Americanized thoroughly. His teachers also helped him in the process. Gualinto never recognized group solidarity from school instead he came to know about how to be a polished, sophisticated human being in the long run. He actually learnt to act like a white. The character of Gualinto grows up under a constant pressure of his race who wanted him to be a successful person and to help his community. Gualinto only fulfills a part of this hope as he becomes a successful tool in the hands of the white men but fails to lend a helping hand towards the betterment of his community and thus he betrays his own people. In his early life he gets teacher like Miss Cordelia who forced him to forget Chicano culture and Spanish language to get established in the school culture. Miss Cordelia too was a Chicano teacher and her character is a mockery for the whole ...
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