Essay Los Vendidos

 

Ryan McFadden10848238CES 395Stealthily Satirizing AmericansStereotypes are far too familiar to American popular culture today.Everyday it is almost a guarantee to see some stereotypes whether it is ontelevision, on the movie screen or upon everyday products. Every minority hasstereotypes built around their existence. Products such as chewing tobacco such asRed Man Tobacco, fruit such as Chiquita Bananas and even sports apparel of teams like the Washington Redskins can embrace images of stereotypical races of  people. These different minority groups need to find a way to resist against thestereotypes forced upon them. A play where stereotypes are emphasized andsatirized is Luis Valdez’s Los

Vendidos

. In this play Valdez enhances and givesemphasis to the stereotypes in order to make them unmistakable. His work has been revolutionary in the fact that they inspire change in the views people have of Chicanos.

 Los Vendidos

is a play centered on drawing great attention to themisconstrued stereotypes of Chicanos while covertly ridiculing Americans whichin turn successfully brings about conversation and critical thinking of thesestereotypes and inspires viewers the opportunity to change their preconceivednotions of Chicanos.Valdez uses the play in order to address the idiocy of stereotypes on theChicano people. These stereotypes that are forced on the Chicano people arederived from falsities generally accepted by American society. The ideology behind “the actos” is to inspire the audience to social action and satirize the

Los Vendidos, Produced By Luis Valdez

For centuries, the Mexican-American experience has been one of adversity and endurance. The plight of these native peoples has been ignored and many times erased from the American conscience. They have struggled for acknowledgment, they have fought for equality and they have gone to battle for respect. Luis Valdez’s play, Los Vendidos, is just one of many contributions to this effort. A powerfully moving play, Los Vendidos, or the "sell-outs", is a piece created to gain acknowledgement, heighten awareness and to create a sense of camaraderie amongst the people fighting in the Chicano Movement of the late 1960’s and 70’s. Created by a population that had been victimized, beaten and driven to the ground by the powerful grip of American society, this work is just one example the artistic medium of expression used by the participants of the Chicano Movement. This play addresses numerous issues regarding the Mexican-American experience and the attempts to "Americanize" a population that was prevented from assimilating into American culture and society. However, some of the issues presented that I found to be most intriguing were the portrayal of both women and war veterans in addition to the overall Anglo-American reaction to the Mexican-American people.

Set in a barren storefront the sales man, Senor Sancho introduces the audience to his "used Mexican lot". Within the store, roughly a dozen models are stationed, immortalized in their eras. These models are the embodiment of the stereotypes that American society has imposed on the Mexican-Americans for the last several centuries. As Ms. Jimenez peruses the store in search of an appropriate Mexican-American to take to the governor’s luncheon, she critiques and rejects each model presented to her. Interestingly enough, Ms. Jimenez is a woman of some Hispanic decent, which she rejects and denies in every possible manner. She is a secretary working for the governor’s office that maintains a proper yet pompous American accent, and her hair is dyed a shade of platinum blond. She personifies the American aspiration to de-Mexicanize the Mexican-Americans. As she shops for a suitable used Mexican model the civic indifference and racism that the Mexican-Americans have been forced to combat becomes progressively more apparent.

Women, who have always accounted for half of the population, have not historically been recognized or respected for their contributions to society. In the past, all women have had to struggle against a chauvinistic world, but for minority women the fight has been even harder. For Mexican-America women they have had two strikes against them in the eyes of America, not only were they Mexican and therefore prone to what those stereotypes entailed, but they were also women and therefore not deserving of any power or respect. Los Vendidos presents and portrays women in a very curious way. In the play, with the only exceptions being Ms. Jimenez and the mother, who only has one line, none...

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