Morales (1986) shows how race and ethnicity erodes the cultures of some communities. They claim to speak English with passion, efficacy, and the craft of their day-to-day living. They hate to identify themselves with the land of their birth, and they do not have an initiative to discover their ancestors’ land. They refer to them as ghettos. Reading the poem from a firsthand person’s view brings out the genuine literary work, making it credible. This is because the poet manages to elicit the real emotions from her personal experience. Therefore, she manages to take the reader through her experiences. As a result, the reader is completely immersed.
In the poem Child of Americas, race and ethnicity result in confusion and the loss of identity for children born to different heritages. As Morales highlights, “I am a child of the Americas, a light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean, a child of Diaspora, born into this continent at crossroads.”(p. 5). This clearly indicates that there is also a crossbreed of different cultures, which have lived in different societies from those of their heritage line, and are in the state of confusion. They do not know whether to identify themselves with the culture, race, or ethnic group of either of the parent, or of where they grew up. On the contrary, those who were born black identify thus with themselves. For instance, when the old woman dies, and her dead body lay on the road, the black families guessed that she must have been visiting her distant relatives (Walker, 1970). Where does the child born of a different heritage belong?
The theme of ethnicity and race has brought about major conflicts in the society. This is a result of the different races and ethnicity. Highlighting conflict when the old woman went to the church and was saying sermons stops everybody else in the congregation and makes them stare at the woman with a snare. The ladies in the church ordered their husbands to throw the old woman out; they looked at the old woman with contempt. After, she is thrown out they are comfortable and the sermon proceeds. This is a sheer contradiction where the church individual’s expectations to show love to all the attendees of the sermon to bring them closer to the Lord. The use of conflict has vastly enriched the literary work of Morales (1986) and Walker (1970). It has created an in-depth understanding of the theme of ethnicity and race.
Different stylistic devices used by different authors communicate similar themes to the readers of their works. Walker (1970) has vastly used narration as his device. He captures the interest of the reader by the use of irony, where we expect love and care from the church, but what we do not expect is hatred. He also makes use of the first- and second-person narration and the constant change of perspective in the storyline. Morales (1986) uses a poem to communicate the theme of ethnicity and race. He uses the first-person narration in the poem.
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Ethnicity and race are historical and cultural constructs of individuals. They bring on social inequality and injustices in the society and erosion of some cultures, as outlined in the poem Child of Americans. This has the effect of building the economically stable race at the expense of the weaker races. This is mainly a result of the inferiority complex by the weaker race, which in most instances, is people with a black skin color. They disown their race and ethnicity and try to match with the white-skinned people. In the long run, the Whites abuse them. According to Walker (1970), the old woman was referred to as “auntie” and “grandma” as a way of mockery.
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