Se Hablo Espanol Analysis

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Summary and Personal Response “Se Hablo Espanol” is a personal memoir written by Guatemalan-born Tanya Barrientos, whose family, in 1963, relocated to the United States with the intent of providing the best life possible for her. She was only three years of age at the time – a time considered to be the most formative years of a child’s life. They stopped speaking Spanish immediately and insisted that she fully assimilate into the American culture. As a result, an adult Barrientos found herself struggling to identify with her native language. Early on, Barrientos recognized the intolerance for differences in her new land. With a regretful tone, she explained how she, too, rejected her cultural diversity out of respect for her parents’ wishes and in an attempt to fit in. When she was seven years old, she heard the Registrar at her elementary school enrollment say, “You people. Your children are always behind, and you have the nerve to bring them in late?” (p. 58). I believe her parents understood that there would be many barriers on the path to success and went about removing as many of…show more content…
It showed me that, no matter what race or ethnicity, everyone struggles with fitting in. Barrientos went through an identity crisis; she didn’t know if she wanted to be an “all-American girl” or if she wanted to truly connect with her Spanish heritage. I can relate to wanting to fit in. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with a drug-addicted mother, I just wanted to be loved so bad that I was willing to get that love at whatever the cost. I submitted to a pastor – a spiritual mother – who used domination, manipulation, fear tactics, mind control, and psychological/emotional abuse to exploit my need for “motherly love”. Barrientos began breaking out of her shell when she returned to her native land; I chose counseling. Like Barrientos, I continue to search for my true self and only time will allow this to

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