By Frances Esquibel Tywoniak
In addition to the numerous attention-grabbing info of daily life the narrative offers, Mario T. García's creation contextualizes where and value of Tywoniak's existence. either creation and narrative illustrate the method wherein Tywoniak negotiated her relation to ethnic id and cultural allegiances, the ways that she got here to discover schooling as a channel for breaking with fieldwork styles of existence, and the impact of migration on relatives and tradition. This deeply own memoir portrays a brave Mexican American girl relocating among many cultural worlds, a lifestyles tale that from time to time parallels, and from time to time diverges from, the true existence stories of hundreds of thousands of alternative, unnamed women.
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Extra resources for Migrant Daughter: Coming of Age as a Mexican American Woman
It would be many years before she would learn to stand up to my father and oppose him. Yet I knew that she could protect us from his wrath. She was the person to whom I could go for refuge. Though my father spanked us, he never injured us. Still, at the time I saw it as a physical punishment and therefore hurtful. This only inflamed me and intensified my growing sense of rebelliousness. Yet I would never characterize my father’s discipline as a form of child abuse. ( Religion, of course, was very much a part of life in rural New Mexico.
What I did enjoy about each novena was that hot chocolate, or cafe con leche, was served afterward. My concept of religion developed partly as a response to what I observed as my father’s dramatic devotion to the Virgen and to Christ, her divine son. Religion was not so much an awareness of God but rather a perception that Christ and the Virgen were central in our lives. Besides observing these rituals in our home, we attended the closest Catholic church which, though modest, evoked reverence with its icons and pews that defined ritual.
But in reflective moments, sometimes after dinner when he might be counseling us about our behavior, for example, he would clear his throat and muster up his best Spanish. Pa’ would be- 01-C0874 9/24/99 11:49 AM Page 23 My Roots in New Mexico / 23 come para and dicemos would become decimos. This was our clue that he was trying to teach us a lesson about some important matter. ” That’s the way life is, daughter, he would say. He was philosophical about the fact that he had become an orphan at age three and had not been favorably treated in the home of his maternal stepgrandfather.