Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drama Reflection on "Los Vendidos" by Luis Valdez

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Drama Reflection on

“Los Vendidos” by Luis Valdez

“Los Vendidos” is a wonderful light-hearted play by Luis Valdez, which he creates using, satire, irony, and comedy. Valdez uses many of these elements to portray how Mexican Americans have struggled to find their identity in America. He uses satire to demonstrate how the American government needs the support of Mexican Americans, but does not return that support. He uses irony by using Mexican American characters throughout the play to create various stereotypes of Americans attempting to obtain what they want. Throughout the play Valdez uses a comedic air to portray the stereotypes of Mexican Americans that have been created by Americans and are in some ways expected in our American society. The comedy, satire, and irony all combine to create a wonderful drama about how Mexican Americans have struggled to find their identity.

The play begins with Ms. JIM-emez, who has denied her heritage and pretends to be ignorant to the Chicano ways while at the same time is unable to escape her own culture. Ms. Jimenez, a secretary from Governor Reagan’s office, has come to Honest Sancho’s Used Mexican Lot and Mexican Curio Shop to search for a token brown-skinned person who can fill a token position in the governor’s office. She wants someone who will not stand out too much but will show the Governor has a brown-skinned person on his staff. She is looking for someone who is dark, but not too dark, and suave. Valdez wrote Ms. Jimenez was looking for someone who was “Beige, just the tone.” This implied that this token brown-skinned staff member would be beige in politics, too, and a “yes” man to all the politicians who want him around just to make them look good! As Ms. Jimenez continued her search for a Mexican American for Governor Reagan’s staff, each character sold-out both their races and their way of life.

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The characters in “Los Vendidos”, which means the sell-outs, sold themselves out on both the Mexican American and American way of life. In fact the Mexican American character showed great disrespect for his Mexican heritage when he said, “The problems of the Mexicans stem from one thing alone he’s stupid, he is under-educated, he needs to stay in school. He needs to be ambitious and be forward looking, most important he needs to think American.” With this statement, he showed some of the imperfections, flaws, and weaknesses of Mexican Americans, which I believe showed great disrespect for his heritage. He definitely cannot decide if he wants to live as a Mexican American or as an American. He is not only selling his heritage out, he is selling himself out.

This was a very enjoyable play that I would love to see portrayed on stage. In fact, having actual Mexican American characters would make it even funnier. Reading it in class with the Mexican accents and Mexican/American accents was hilarious and a wonderful technique. It really made an impression on me. It is just amazing to me how we all stereotype people without even realizing it!

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