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Los vendidos – play analysis

Beyond an energetic and comical playwright, Luis Valdez’ "Los Vendidos" is an appropriate reflection of the modern day American society, focusing how Mexicans happen to be perceived in this world. The play abounds in stereotypes about Mexicans, which explains why the main motif of "Los Vendidos" can be stereotyping. Stereotypes appear in societies since the dominant majority has difficulties in understanding the specificities of particular minorities, as it is the case of the Mexicans, portrayed in "Los Vendidos". Even so, stereotypes happen to be nurtured as a modality of keeping minorities socio – economically repressed and inferior compared to the dominant race in the world (Escobar p. 562). By portraying the key stereotypes that are used to refer to Mexicans in USA, such as farm workers, gang customers or revolucionarios, Valdez describes the identification crisis experienced by Mexicans, who want to withstand to the cultural assimilation of becoming Americans.

The plot of the take up revolves around an designed sale, wherein Miss Jimenez, a secretary of the Presidential administration is certainly on a mission to acquire a Mexican model, so that you can appeal to the Mexican electorate. Honest Sancho, who owns the retail store that sells Mexican designs, introduces to Miss Jimenez three types of Mexicans that she can purchase: the farm worker, the gang member and the revolutionary, exemplifying like this the main stereotypes with which Mexicans happen to be associated in USA. The sole idea that the participants of a race can relate with a single model, a robot that’s believed to encompass the distinctiveness of an entire race is based on a prejudice (Kassin, Fein & Markus p. 155).

Another issue that the play raises in relation with the stereotypes created for Mexicans in United States, is definitely that Mexicans themselves came to discover with the stereotypes that the American world created to determine them. As such, Honest Sancho admits the key types of stereotyping existent in the American contemporary society and promotes them on the market. Although Honest Sancho appears to be thinking about his organization, exploiting the American way of life of stereotyping to become profitable, there is, on the other hand, a truth in the fact that Mexicans abide by the stereotypes created for them and transmit them from a generation to another.

"The actual fact that the typical Mexican people moving into United States will be represented through robots suggests the idea that Mexicans are not seen as humans, but as machines, therefore the objectification of the people" (Belkin p. 17). Honest Sancho’s robots are seemingly created to serve the American world through their effort, as exemplified by the farm employee, who www.testmyprep.com’s "built close to the ground", long-lasting, friendly and "loves his patroness" (Valdez pp. 41-42). However, the other machines that describe the stereotypical roles of Chicanos in U.S., respectively the gang member and the brand new. Yet, the roles of the Mexican models are also well – justified, because they serve as criminals that receive arrested (Valdez 44). In this feeling, they will be fulfilling the social part of criminality, serving as the scape goats for the malfunctions of the American culture. Through the Mexican robots stored in – store to be purchased, Valdez demonstrates that the stereotypes have a functional role in culture, serving as the servers or the persons to get blamed by the dominant competition. This reinforces the theory that stereotyping is normally a type of racism that generates thoughts of superiority from the dominant competition towards minorities (Escobar 562).

Although she is as well a representative of the Mexican people in USA, Miss Jimenez identifies even more with the dominant Americans than with Chicanos. Only as the white People in america, Miss Jimenez fails to admit the individuality of Mexicans, although she also, is a Mexican – American, or "una chicana" (Valdez 41).

On the other side, she seems to become ignorant of the stereotypes and prejudices that Mexicans knowledge in USA. As such, when Honest Sancho describes to her that the farm employee is reducing grapes, she responds "Oh, I wouldn’t know" (Valdez 42). This scene raises the question of whether one needs to dissociate of his nationwide identity to be able to escape the stereotypes associated with one’s race. As such, Miss Jimenez insists that her brand should be pronounced using English rather than Spanish pronunciation, correcting Honest Sancho and admonishing him for his insufficient good English expertise, when he addresses her in a Mexican design: "My name is Miss JIM-enez. Don’t you speak English? What’s wrong with you?" (Valdez p. 41).

Although the play critiques the American world for its insufficient cultural sensitivity to Mexican people, arguing that Americans consider all Mexicans as either farm personnel, gang members or revolutionary, Miss Jimenez may be the exception that deconstructs this myth. She is a Secretary in the U.S. government, accordingly, she is educated, urban, contemporary, possessing all the features of the casual American. As Belkin (p. 18) observes, she actually is assimilated. In contrast with her, all the other Mexicans, who neglect testmyprep to become Americans and adhere to their Mexican identities are believed stupid, uneducated or violent (Valdez p. 48; Belkin p. 18).

Nevertheless, the take up transmits mixed impressions about what the American contemporary society expects from the Mexicans, which further more perpetuates the racial stereotypes fond of this nationality. As such, Miss Jimenez, as the representative of the American government, seeks a Mexican version that’s educated, knows very good English and a romantic figure to attract the women electorate. "These values usually do not describe Mexican stereotypes, but the merchandise of cultural assimilation" (Belkin 18). However, through the character of Miss Jimenez, the play writer transmits the idea that the American society expects the Mexicans to be cheap. The constant query of Miss Jimenez "is he cost-effective" (Valdez pp. 42 – 49) acts like a leitmotif in the play, putting an equal sign between Mexicans and low cost labor force.

Cheap labor force is usually a stereotypical representation of Mexicans, one which can be desired and predicted by the white Americans, possibly from the educated and acculturated Mexicans. As such, speaking for the U.S. authorities, Miss Jimenez appears shocked to hear that the price for the educated Mexican is certainly $ 15,000, requesting "Fifteen thousand dollars? For a Mexican!!!" (Valdez 50). Put simply, while the American culture expects the Mexicans to become acculturated and integrated, acting and behaving like common Americans, they still expect them to become cheaper, consequently perpetuating the socio – economical oppression of this people through prescriptive stereotypes (features widely accepted as defining functions or behaviors) (Corell and Benard 5).

What started as a comical take up developed complex sociological principles of assimilation, acculturation or stereotyping. Stereotyping is the central topic of the play and it is vividly represented through all of the individuals presented in the take up (Honest Sancho, Miss Jimenez and the robots). In addition, the social anticipations from the Mexicans as well perpetuate the stereotypes that hold this persons in socio – inexpensive oppression to the dominant race in U.S. "Las Vendidos" teaches audiences about the danger that lies in stereotyping, which can take the form of economic oppression or riots. Stereotyping is certainly more than a kind of social discrimination; it is just a lifestyle by which the dominant majority and the vulnerable minority live, abiding to the socially shaped misconceptions about how minorities should be or how they should take action.

Works Cited

Belkin, Elena. Changing Fronts in La Lucha Chicana: Cultural Construction of Course, Competition, and Gender in Chicano/a Literature. Ohio: Ohio State University. 2008. Printing.

https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/deal with/1811/32190/Changing_Fronts_in_La_Lucha_Chicana-1.pdf?s

Correll, Shelley, J. and Benard, Stephen. Gender and Racial Bias in Hiring. [Online] 21 March, 2006. Offered by http://provost.upenn.edu/uploads/media_things/gender-racial-bias.original.pdf. 7 March, 2017.

Escobar, Angela Sanchez. Chicanos: Stereotypes and Search for Self – Identity as Seen through Literature. CUACE 14-15: 561-571. 1992. Print.


Kassin, Saul, Fein, Steven & Markus, Hazel Rose. Social Psychology. Belmont: Wadsworth. 2014. Print.


Valdez, Luis. Luis Valdez – Early Gets results: Across, Bernabe and Pensamiento Serpentino. Texas: Arte Publico Press. 1994. Print.

https://books.google.ro/literature?id=t62V4sknDw8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Luis+Valdez+%E2%80%93+Early+Gets results:+Across,+Bernabe+and+Pensamiento+Serpentino&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV0KKH18XSAhWHzxQKHc0kCr4Q6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=Luis%20Valdez%20%E2%80%93%20Early%20Works%3A%20Across%2C%20Bernabe%20and%20Pensamiento%20Serpentino&f=false

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