Assignment On Sex & Gender In Lit2110

1378 words - 6 pages

Stereotypes In the play Los Vendidos, Luis Valdez portrays four different stereotypes of Mexican's. There is the farm worker, Johnny, the revolucionario, and the Mexican-American. Some people would consider this play to be offensive, but Valdez is not necessarily making Mexican's look bad, he is simply giving each Mexican a different personality. These personalities just happen to be Mexican stereotypes. In this essay, I will explain the different stereotypes represented, why people should not take offense to this play, and provide some examples of other stereotypes that could have been used in place of the Mexican's. The first Mexican Valdez describes is the farm worker. He is hard working in the fields. He pick's grapes, cotton, and melon's. He is also economical. The farm worker runs off of one plate of beans and tortillas. He does not speak English at all. The Mexican farm worker is of the lower class. We see many of them in fields, especially in the South. They do not have very much money, and usually make below minimum wage. And many of them are not American citizens. The next Mexican stereotype portrayed in the play is Johnny. He is a fast, low riding, city life, urban model. He is also bilingual; fluent in both Spanish and English. Johnny is very economical, living off of hamburgers, Taco Bell tacos, Lucky Lager beer, cheap wine, and marijuana. Johnny is a thief also. Johnny represents the lower middle class urban Mexican's. They are known for riding around in fast, low riding cars, with dark tinted windows, and loud stereo systems. They also smoke a lot of marijuana, but do not usually do many other drugs because they do not have enough money. The majority of them are also thought to be thieves. The revolucionario is the third stereotype described by Valdez. He is the Latin-Lover of the Mexicans. He is a well-built, sturdy, genuine antique. The revolucionario lives off of raw horsemeat and tequila. He is also very economical. The revolucionario is the type of Mexican that we see in the movies. He sweeps the ladies off their feet and spends all of his time and money trying to impress them. The final stereotype of Mexican's that Valdez uses is the Mexican-American. He is the clean-shaven, middle class type. He is bilingual, college educated, intelligent, well-mannered, and charming. He is also very political and patriotic. On the other hand, he is not economical. He lives off of dry Martinis and Langendorf bread. The Mexican-American represents the upper middle class Mexican's. They get through school and make something of their lives. They tend to spend a lot of money. They also, like the Latin Lover, try to impress the ladies, but not by being Rico Suave. They are charming, and intelligent men. They have plans for their lives and do not let anything or anyone stand in their way. They are determined to do well and accomplish a lot. Many people might assume that a Mexican that was reading this play might be offended by it. But in reality they should not be. This play describes every type of Mexican stereotype, so there is not just one single general idea given about Mexican's. Another thing that should to be taken into consideration while reading this play is that it could be written about any type of group. Every group of people have their stereotypes, whether it be different races, genders, or classes. This play could be about any group. If this play was written about white people there would be many different stereotypes, just like there are for the Mexican's. There would be the trailer trash, the pot heads, the thugs, the working class, and the preps. All groups have their stereotypes; it does not actually mean that if a person is Mexican then they have to be either a farm worker, Johnny, revolucionario, or a Mexican-American. The same way that white's do not have to be strictly categorized into groups such as trailer trash, pot heads, thugs, working class, or preps. Most people do not fall into one strict category; they are usually between two or even three. If the play was about white people it would describe each stereotype: The trailer trash are people that do nothing with their lives. They work at gas stations, are usually dirty and smelly, and wear clothes from K-Mart. They smoke cigarettes and get drunk all day and night. Most of them are hicks who have big pick-up trucks with the confederate flag bumper sticker. They talk with a country-hick accent. The kids that live there do not finish high school, and if they do they do not go to college. The pot heads, also known as Cheech, tend to drop out of high school, but are less likely to than the trailer trash. They usually have financially well-off parents. They do have jobs, though. They spend all their time in their room with their friends smoking during the day. At night they usually go to clubs. They do just enough in school to where they do not get kicked out and their parents get off their back. A lot of them are creative, whether it be writing or drawing. They watch movies such as Half Baked and Cheech and Chong. Then there are the thugs; which are known for their baggy clothes, big flashy jewelry, and tattoos. They usually have a tattoo of a cross. They drive old, low riding cars with dark tinting and loud stereo's. They are usually seen smoking a cigarette or a black and mild. They also usually were hats. They also tend to be suspected of stealing. Many also carry around guns and/or knives. They talk in "Ebonics," and sometimes have at least one gold tooth. The working class stereotype is not a bad one. They are the teenagers who go to school during the day and work at night and on the weekends. They are doing everything that they can to make something of themselves. They work to provide money for their family, not themselves. They concentrate hard on their school work, but do not always do well in school because they are always working, and they have no one to help them at home. Their parents did not go to college, usually because they did not have enough money. Their parents also work all day, and sometimes all night. They tend to neglect their children, but not on purpose. They neglect them because they are always working. They want the best for their children. Then there are the preps. These are the people that have no concept of money. They own houses on the beach, or intercoastal, along with their forty foot boat. They drive around Jaguars, Mercedes, and BMW's. Their children are spoiled; they always have the newest thing out. Whether it be clothes, toys, or cars. The adults spend most of their time at country clubs, and cocktail parties. They also tend to neglect their children sometimes, but they do not have an excuse. The children have nannies that raise them. Rich teenagers are known as the drug users, since they have so much money. They live glamorous lives. So, Valdezs' play, Los Vendidos, should not be viewed as a play written to offend Mexican's. Any type of gender, race, or nationality could have been used in place of the Mexican's, as discussed in this essay. Valdez was not trying to make the Mexican's look bad, if he was he would not have used all of the different stereotypes. No one should be offended by this play. He is simply portraying the different types of personalities. This play could have easily been about white's or men and women.


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