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Sunday, July 29, 2012

La Conciencia da la Mestiza

     In La Conciencia da la Mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness, Gloria Anzaldua proposes an all new way of thinking: a new mestiza consciousness. In her work she defines la mestiza as 'a product of the transfer of the cultural and spiritual values of one group to another.' More specifically, la mestiza is someone of mixed races. Once referred to as a 'cosmic race' which embraced the four major races of the world. In her work, Anzaldua tries to disprove the common belief that these people are inferior. As depicted by much of mass media, I must admit that Anzaldua is correct in her thinking that this stereotype is a widespread belief. These stereotypes do not solely target people of mixed races, but it seems at though Hispanic people as an entire culture of people are targeted as well.

     Within her definitions, Anzaldua is very inclusive. She does not limit la mestiza to women of Hispanic decent, but virtually to all people who feel as though they belong to more than one culture. However, this multiplicity of cultures results in a 'state of perpetual transition.' As a direct result of her multiple cultures, the mestiza faces many struggles and difficulties concerning identity and her very being. Anzaldua refers to this struggle as a cultural collision. How does one cope with is constant struggle? Anzaldua urges for a knew collective consciousness altogether. She does not just refer to this new consciousness, she provides a guideline that anyone seeking a new way of thinking could refer to. "Only by remaining flexible is she able to stretch the psyche horizontally and vertically. La mestiza constantly has to shift out of habitual formations..."Anzaldua urges that the work of any mestiza consciousness is to 'break down the subject-object duality' that la mestiza a prisoner. What does she mean by all of this? Through her call for a massive uprooting of dualistic thinking, it is obvious that people should rid themselves of their constant need to categorize. She wants people to get rid of the idea that something is either black or white, or this or that, always categorizing and defining things by dividing them into two. 
     Besides her remarkable proclamation for a completely new consciousness, it is also important to examine the very way in which Anzaldua writes this text. (I mean it is a writing class after all!) She does not simply write about the multi-cultures consciousness she actually DOES it. She is quite literally writing in a la mestiza way. Throughout her text, Anzaldua is fluctuating between English writing to Spanish writing. The versus in Spanish contribute to the overall authenticity of her work. She is not just telling her readers to practice the la mestiza consciousness, she is doing it herself in the very moment they are reading! This constant changing of languages also emphasizes the struggles of la mestiza in her constant crossing over between cultures. Through her words and her unique style of writing, I believe Anzaldua would accomplish her goal of moving towards a new la mestiza consciousness. 

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