Coca-Cola & Coco Frio

1016 Words5 Pages
The Land of Disregard Culture is considered a crucial element of civilization for numerous reasons. One of the main reasons is because it helps us identify the individuals that live within a society. From understanding your best friend’s beliefs and behaviors, to knowing where your ancestors came from, culture has been used throughout generations to help us mix, interact, and learn from each other. In Martín Espada’s poem “Coca-Cola and Coco Frío”, a boy from Brooklyn, New York visits his homeland of Puerto Rico to gain knowledge of his culture. However, the boy soon realizes that his family is neglecting the native land that he is so eager to learn about. In the first stanza, the author describes Puerto Rico as the “island of family folklore”, indicating that the only knowledge the boy has of his homeland is in the stories he has been told at home. “The fat boy wandered / from table to table / with his mouth open” (3-5). In these lines, Espada describes the boy’s eagerness to learn about his culture. The term “fat boy” is used as a representation of the spoiled and wealthy lifestyle that the boy had lived while he was in America. His “wandering” from table to table is an indication of him being stuck between two cultures; one that he has grown with and knows well, and another that he is anxiously trying to make sense of. He desperately goes between tables “with his mouth open” showing that he is ready and willing to take in all the information he can about his native culture. His frustration grows as many of his great aunts continuously steer him to a glass of Coca-Cola. “He drank obediently, though / he was bored with this potion, familiar / from soda fountains in Brooklyn” (11-13). Espada refers to the Coca-Cola as a “potion” because it is a man-made drink concocted from numerous odd ingredients that seemed to have the boy’s family hypnotized. The boy’s

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