“The actual physical borderland that I’m dealing with in this book is the Texas-U.S. Southwest/Mexican border. The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest. In fact, the Borderlands are physically present whenever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy,” writes Gloria Anzaldúa in the preface to this book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Her book is an exploration of these borderlands and of the roles that language and culture and bodies play in creating (but also violating) these borders.
In paragraph one, please describe (using evidence from the text) the sort of ethos (or author’s character) that Anzaldúa creates for herself in this chapter. What sort of character traits do we imagine the writer to have? How is this character related to the role that language plays in her life and to the audience to which she is writing?
In paragraph two, please describe for me your own relationship to writing and to language, using Anzaldúa’s arguments as a bridge to introduce your own expansion of, or disagreement with, her argument. What is this borderland like for you?