Gloria Anzaldua writes about a borderland. This ?borderland? is what she explains as where two or more cultures meet with each other.
Two essays in which she wrote are Entering into the Serpent and How to Tame a Wild Tongue. Both of these essays are written in English and Spanish, making it difficult for some to understand. She does this to show people what it was like to not understand. Anzaldua discusses her experiences growing up between many cultures. As a woman of many identities, she has suffered oppression because of who and what she represents in an American culture that is threatened by anyone who is not of white color.
In Entering into the Serpent, Anzaldua paints a picture of her culture and defines what culture is to her. She tells many stories of different Spanish cultures.
In How to Tame a Wild Tongue, Anzaldua points out that it was not only from white people that she faced challenges. Her own people forced her to live her life in a state of division. She tried to conform to the white man?s expectation and was then called a ?pocho? (cultural traitor). She was accused of ruining the Spanish language when she spoke English, and most Latinos accused her of ruining Spanish as she spoke Chicano Spanish. Anzaldua was told by Latinos that ?you?re speaking the oppressor?s language by speaking English, you?re ruining the Spanish language?
Anzaldua examines the origins of some of the different languages she speaks, and in doing so she reveals the processes of transculturation that helped to shape them. Anzaldua draws a connection between her identity and the various languages she uses. For instance, she names Standard and Working Class English as the languages that she learned in school and from the media. Chicano Texas Spanish is the language that is closest to her heart and the one she uses when speaking to her mom, younger brother, aunts and older relatives. Of the eight different languages she speaks all have their origins in English and Spanish; howevhey each have undergone transformations
Anzaldua was part of an oppressed group. The Chicanos were looked down upon by both their bordering peoples. Spanish people did not like that Chicanos did not speak the traditional Spanish. Americans were angered that they did not speak the ?common? language of English. But ask yourself, does America have a common language? America is made up of many different cultures, that is why people come to America, for freedom. Included in that freedom is freedom of speech. All around the country, people speak every language possible. Who is to say that English is the language that should be spoken?