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The book Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal is a well written novel that mainly portrays the hardships a kid of immigrant parents, Richard, faces on his journey to self discovery Being born an American from a Mexican background created these social expectations he was expected to adhere to This created an internal conflict of tradition vs oneself within Richard as he tried to discover his true identity Growing up, Richard always struggled to fit in Being from a different cultural backgroun The book Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal is a well written novel that mainly portrays the hardships a kid of immigrant parents, Richard, faces on his journey to self discovery Being born an American from a Mexican background created these social expectations he was expected to adhere to This created an internal conflict of tradition vs oneself within Richard as he tried to discover his true identity Growing up, Richard always struggled to fit in Being from a different cultural background than the one he was residing in made it extremely difficult to fit into one side Consequently, this made him feel judged by both cultures instead of accepted in one The aspect of this book that makes it unique is the ability it has to personally connect with numerous people, including myself This is due to the realism the author has presented all throughout the book involving the real struggles immigrants and their kids face when the need to adapt to a new community Because of this, this book would be perfect for becoming of age readers The fact that the author has experienced what his main character has gone through makes this sense of realism even stronger It givescredibility to the events stated within the book involving what feelings and or circumstances people in this situation experience Another thing I enjoyed about the book is its inclusion of the theme to stay true to oneself Even though Richard s aspirations were discouraged by many, including his own mother, he still demonstrated resilience and had his own perspective on life The title of the book itself shows the identity Richard was struggling to find all throughout the book It shows his acceptance of what he really is, a pocho, and his dedication to make the most out of it This was a random find I bought at a used book store and I have to say this wasn t what I expected.There were some scenes that were fantastic in understanding the oppression of Mexicans who want a better life and other scenes I, unfortunately, could not relate to mainly because this book wasfor Chicanos than Chicanas but really a fascinating read @DOWNLOAD EPUB â Pocho ó Villarreal illuminates here the world of pochos, Americans whose parents come to the United States from Mexico Set in Depression era California, the novel focuses on Richard, a young pocho who experiences the intense conflict between loyalty to the traditions of his family s past and attraction to new ideas Richard s struggle to achieve adulthood as a young man influenced by two worlds reveals both the uniqueness of the Mexican American experiences and its common ties with the struggles of all Americans whatever their past Pocho was a little journey through American Mexican history But for such a little book, too much was packed into it The character stories were disintegrated It started out with Pocho s dad, and his lover, and then it suddenly jumped to his life with his wife and the birth of Pocho And since the author tried to cover so mucb ground, the book readlike a newspaper report covering the events in Pocho s life Too much was told, little was left for the reader to experience himself, by parta Pocho was a little journey through American Mexican history But for such a little book, too much was packed into it The character stories were disintegrated It started out with Pocho s dad, and his lover, and then it suddenly jumped to his life with his wife and the birth of Pocho And since the author tried to cover so mucb ground, the book readlike a newspaper report covering the events in Pocho s life Too much was told, little was left for the reader to experience himself, by partaking in Pocho s life Too many characters crossed Pocho s path, and as soon as I got into their stories, the abruptly ended, and someone else took over in importance Otherwise, certainly informative I learned about Pachucos, and also gained a better insight into a traditional mexican marriage Note This is a lengthy analysis of Pocho, originally written for my college class Lyn The 1959 novel, Pocho, by Jos Antonio Villarreal, is an insightful cultural exposition told primarily from the vantage point of Richard Rubio, the coming of age son of immigrant Mexican parents who eventually settle in Santa Clara, California, after many seasons of migrant farm work Although fiction, the story likely mirrors some of the experiences of the author who was born to migrant laborers in Los Ange Note This is a lengthy analysis of Pocho, originally written for my college class Lyn The 1959 novel, Pocho, by Jos Antonio Villarreal, is an insightful cultural exposition told primarily from the vantage point of Richard Rubio, the coming of age son of immigrant Mexican parents who eventually settle in Santa Clara, California, after many seasons of migrant farm work Although fiction, the story likely mirrors some of the experiences of the author who was born to migrant laborers in Los Angeles in 1924 and was himself a pocho a child of the depression era Mexican American transition I am a Pocho, he said, and we speak like this because here in California we make Castilian words out of English words p 165 Such a journey was a difficult one for the transition from the culture of the old world to that of the new world should never have been attempted in one generation p 135 , and Villarreal nicely employs a cross cultural bildungsroman to explore a diversity of related themes.Among the most prominent are strains of racism classism, belonging and dislocation, death and meaning and self identity, and sexual awakening In a slim 187 pages the author competently weaves social commentary via the seemingly innocent adolescent perspective into a moving narrative that only occasionally veers toward the pedantic.Some Themes ExploredRichard s father, Juan Rubio, is proud to be a Mexican and resents the Spanish people, whom he identifies as oppressors although Juan is clearly of Spanish descent since he had fair skin and blue gray eyes p 1 He explains to his son, who exclaims in response to his father s prejudice, But all your friends are Spanish p 99 That is all there is here, said Juan Rubio, but these people are different they are also from the lower class, although some of them take on airs here They are people who were stepped on, much the same as we were in our country That is the wonder of this country of yours, my son All the people who are pushed around in the rest of the world come here, because here they can maybe push someone else around There is something in people, put there only to make them forget what was done to them in other times, so that they can turn around and do the same thing to other people.It is not in retribution because they remember they were once mistreated, my son it is because they forget p 99, 100 Another response to this clash of cultures is the emergence of the zootsuiters, a lost race p149 generation filled with anger and frustration over their uncertain place in society But Richard is fascinated by their strangeness and attended their dances and fiestas as part of his journey of self discovery.They had a burning contempt for people of different ancestry, whom they called Americans, and a marked hauteur toward Mexico and toward their parents for their old country ways The former feeling came from a sense of inferiority that is a prominent characteristic in any Mexican reared in southern California and the latter was an inexplicable compensation for that feeling They needed to feel superior to something, which is a natural thing The result was that they attempted to segregate themselves from both their cultures, and became truly a lost race p 149 In addition to exploring these expansive ideas on class, status, and cultural identity, Pocho works on a very personal level giving the reader insight into the mind of a maturing young man With regard to self identity and throwing off his Catholic upbringing, Richard states with some irony There are but three things that I can say I have learned for myself First, I know that one should never discuss matters of sex with one s parents Second, one should not, on penalty of going to Hell, discuss religion with the priests And, last, one should not ask questions on history of the teachers, or one will be kept in after school, he said I do not find it in me to understand why it is this way p 85, 86 Author Jos Antonio Villarreal has a dry sense of humor and, as mentioned above, does a marvelous job weaving bits of wry commentary throughout the novel Another fun quote is when Richard s sister, Luz, demonstrates her own prejudice for the newly arrived, and darker skinned, Mexicans Well, they ain t got nuthin and they don t even talk good English p 148 Like Villarreal, I m a native Californian, but not Mexican American I was raised during the C sar Ch vez years in a small farming town which saw its fair share of migrant worker strikes and labor unrest It was a difficult era for whites to understand Now, 50 years after the novel was first written and a lifetime removed from my upbringing I find the story still relevant It s an intriguing narrative and helpful in capturing the double consciousness that many of my Mexican American friends that I grew up with lived with as a matter of course.About the BookPocho was likely the first Mexican American novel released by a major publisher and is considered the first of, or at least a precursor to, what is now called Chicano literature It s not a perfect story the POV changes from father to son on occasion, the life lessons can seem a bit heavy handed at times, and is, in my opinion, overly concerned with sexuality Still, it s a mature read and lends itself well for discussion at a college level or possibly an advanced high school class if taught appropriately.Originally an Anchor Book published by Doubleday in 1959, Pocho is still available through Anchor Books, now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House Although it s cheaper to buy used atI give it a 7 out of 10 it was a nice book because it was showing what the chicanos mexicans want to do to change how people look at us.He came out the struggle just any other chicano bu at the end we had to show who we were really are. Idk whether to give this five stars cause it made me laugh so much or 1 star because it s garbage 2.5 stars There were parts of it that I really enjoyed and were wonderfully written But there are times I didn t quite understand the point of Richard s story It s written in vignettes You see short episodes of Richard s life as he s growing up, but some things don t quite connect with others It s like things just WERE, and sad to say, I m just not a huge fan of that kind of writing Plus, I HATED the way he treated Zelda I wanted to seeof his internal conflict as a Mexican American. A serendipitous find one of my very best More than ever, I am implicitly trusting my instincts these days when it comes to discovering new books, good books What else can possibly explain my finger stopping on this title while browsing the shelves in the used books section of East London s Durning Hall A book that I had never heard of in a lifetime of bookwormery Nothing, except that odd staccato name Pocho and a triple barrel Hispanic moniker that was always going to arrest my attenti A serendipitous find one of my very best More than ever, I am implicitly trusting my instincts these days when it comes to discovering new books, good books What else can possibly explain my finger stopping on this title while browsing the shelves in the used books section of East London s Durning Hall A book that I had never heard of in a lifetime of bookwormery Nothing, except that odd staccato name Pocho and a triple barrel Hispanic moniker that was always going to arrest my attention Pocho, as it turns out, was the very first Mexican American novel, published way back in 1959 This was subaltern fiction long before the word crawled out of the primordial ooze of Gayatri Spivak s mind The writer s father was a cavalry officer in the Mexican Revolution, a Pancho Villa loyalist who quit Mexico when the Centaur of the North was defeated by his archrival General Obregon Villarreal p re crossed the border via the Juarez El Paso route and made his way overland to California There his son was born, Jose Antonio who went on to become a pioneer of Chicano literature Pocho is his autobiographical account of growing up poor and Mexican in Depression era California The word itself means rotten fruit, and is used to describe Chicanos living or growing up in el norte, not dissimilar to the ABCD slur that is used to tag desi kids in the States The protagonist Richard Rubio is the son of first generation Mexican migrants In calm and measured prose, Villarreal describes his childhood and youth amid the lush groves and orchards of California, the same fruit farms where his parents and their friends, the entire Mexican community in fact earned their living These were the people on the other side of Steinbeck s Okies, though not quite so poor, not quite as rootless The prose has all the truth and immediacy of lived experience no doubt many of the people and events of the book were drawn from real life Villarreal has a gift for memorable scenes The human mess that was the Mexican border after a decade of civil war Four men playing cards by lamplight under a bridge in New Mexico, ending inevitably in bloodshed A woman squatting by a dry creek in order to pee, and instead popping out a baby A young Catholic boy s struggles with sexual awakening Farm strikes and Communist agitation in the depths of the Depression That brilliant passage where Richard s all consuming lust for knowledge collides head on with the modest ambitions and religious conservatism of his peasant stock parents He is a boy apart, an obsessive bookworm devoted solely to reading and learning, the one kid who s read all the books in the school library Even in a community of misfits, he is drawn to its most awkward members for friendship and company All these small human dramas playing out in the eternal sunshine of California, beneath the blue dome that shimmers forever above the Golden State The second half of the book is all about the losses that accrue in adolescence and early adulthood Emancipated from the twin Mexican traditions of machismo and misogyny, the mother begins to speak out Stormy scenes in the family home eventually turn apocalyptic The collision of tradition and modernity ends up breaking the marriage of Richard s parents It s simple Juan Rubio does not how to change Richard himself grows distant from both parents, grows ambitions of his own that are distinct from his peer group and his society He wants to become a writer What drives him is that same restless male quest for the ineffable, the numinous that drove his father the biponno bishmoy that another pre war author had written of halfway around the world All the same, he is preternaturally attractive to women Zelda, former child leader of the neighbourhood gang whose humiliating fall results in her becoming sexual fodder for the whole crew, grows up to become a striking young woman and falls hard for Richard The love scenes shine But they don t stop Richard from scattering his seed liberally up to and including banging the wives of woolly white liberal Marxists who have deigned to adopt him as their native mascot Richard finds their attitude to sharing the marital bed disappointingly middle class There are interesting descriptions too of Latino youth subculture in California in the 1940s Richard runs with the pachucos , describes their appearance and behaviour in almost anthropological detail There are japes and scrapes with other gangs, with the police After working all week at the factory to put food on the family table, these hi jinks liven up Richard s weekend But the war comes eventually, and with it, the chance to make a decisive break from family, from responsibility, from boredom, from California Richard signs up with the navy but not before the author inserts one final poignant note Thomas Nakano, the Japanese kid in the gang, who is bound for the internment campsI just come to say goodbye, you guys I got nothing to do with the warI m an American, just like you guys I just come to say goodbye, cause we gotta go awayA beautiful book then, about belonging and not belonging, about growing up, about community and family By rights, it belongs with the best Bildungsromans At various times, it reminded me of The Grapes of Wrath, of Azuela s The Underdogs and Nadeem Aslam s Maps for Lost Lovers Can t say fairer than that WHAT is this book It starts like Bless Me, ltima or a Mexican American Last Picture Show a funny serious tale of a smarter than average outsider boy who comes of age in an isolated town in a moment of exceptional national turmoil, with lots of talk of people s genitals Then, at about the midpoint, it abruptly becomes serious tragic,like zombie movie a smarter than average teenager wandering lost as his culture, town, family and friendships disintegrate around him The blurb on th WHAT is this book It starts like Bless Me, ltima or a Mexican American Last Picture Show a funny serious tale of a smarter than average outsider boy who comes of age in an isolated town in a moment of exceptional national turmoil, with lots of talk of people s genitals Then, at about the midpoint, it abruptly becomes serious tragic,like zombie movie a smarter than average teenager wandering lost as his culture, town, family and friendships disintegrate around him The blurb on the back of the book says it is about the Depression, but is that all Pocho seems to me a book about prejudice and oppression More than once the narrator observes that people naturally want to dominate other people, that Spanish colonists were low ranking nobodies in Europe but kings in the Americas, etc And to this end, Villarreal invokes then repudiates a number of oppressive dichotomies His protagonist is a Mexican American named Richard Rubio the English Spanish name is no accident who finds enlightenment by refusing to pigeonhole himself in particular identities He isthan Mexican OR American, Christian OR pagan, literate OR illiterate, man OR boy, gay OR straight, etc.And yet While Richard transcends society enforced dualities, Villarreal continues to depict women in dehumanizing ways Richard s mother, Consuelo, is nameless for the first half of the book then becomes Americanized and suddenly refuses to clean her house, becomes a selfish jealous lover, degrades her daughters as lesser than her one son, etc Richard lives in a household of many sisters, but how many We don t know, because their only purpose is to become dead weight when Richard accepts financial responsibility for them The only one who is given a name, at least that I remember, is Luz, who Richard himself terms a whore because she does with a white classmate what Richard himself does with many, many women, including other people s wives, all before he is old enough to be enlisted in the United States Army.The book is engaging and certainly though provoking But it is also extremely elusive Can t wait to hear what my classmates have to say about it in class next week, for I myself cannot make heads or tails of it I cannot even decide if Villarreal wants me to make heads or tails of it