Child of the Americas Essay
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I interpreted that this line meant that the speaker had been exposed to european culture and adapted some of the european customs into their own personal culture. Through out the poem the speaker describe her heritage and the cultures she identifies as, and I believe that “Europe lives in me, but I have no home there” simply means she is creating memories and experiences that takes place in europe but she has never truly lived there or been there long enough to call it home.
How does the speaker describe herself?
Throughout “Child of the Americas” the speaker describes herself as many different nationalities. She uses the metaphors “I am not African, Africa is in me…Spanish is in my flesh…I am not European, Europe lives in me…” to show us that because she identifies herself as american she can also be seen as all these different nationalities because America is a country in which many different cultures have settled down and started to fuse together into original lifestyles.
What is the tone of the poem? Is the speaker defiant, hopeful, angry, confused, ambivalent, proud? Cite specific words and phrases to support your response
I believe that the tone of “Child of the Americas” is both ambivalent, and proud. The speaker develops these tones through her details. We can determine that her tone is ambivalent because of the way she describes herself. She describes herself as a jumble of different cultures and nationalities. “I am a U.S. Puerto Rican Jew…I am Caribena, Island grown” “Africa is in me….Tiano is in me…Europe lives in me” From this we can tell that she is not specifically identifying herself as a single culture which shows us that she has mixed feelings about her heritage. We can determine that her other tone is proud, from the details in her last stanza. She describes herself as new “History made me.” She also says that “I was born at the crossroads and I am whole.” From these lines we can determine that she was not ashamed of her uniquity. We can tell that she is proud of her “mixed-up heritage.”