Annotation: Borderlands

Annotation: Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands = La Frontera: The New Mestiza

In, Borderlands = La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria Anzaldúa embraces a world of double consciousness through sharing her life stories, experiences, and in doing so – exposes the exclusivity of language and its function as resistance. Early on, the introduction states that the book is “not always entirely accessible to non-spanish speakers” bringing to light how language is something, whether spoken or written, only capable of being understood by a select few (page 11). From here, it is understood that to truly take away the messages that Anzaldúa has to offer, one must speak all of the same languages and their habit of switching throughout the piece makes it challenging. Every so often, Anzaldúa will start a sentence off in one language and slip in words of significance in another language saying things like “la cultura chican identifies with the mother (Indian) rather than with the father (Spanish) (page 52). This is an example of something incredibly prominent throughout the work, and we understand that this is because of anglicisms. Anzaldúa says, “words distorted by English are known as anglicisms or pochismos” which uncovers the idea of speaking one's language as resistance. When it comes to imperialism, language was forced onto cultures and altered with the use of anglicisms as well as oppressing English into their communities. For Anzaldúa to switch between many languages is for them to regrasp their many identities and consciences. From here, I raise the question, to what extent is language a form of resistance when spoken or written and is it as powerful as other forms of resistance? Is it less violent?