Identity and Linguistic Repression in Gloria Anzaldua’s How to Tame a Wild Tongue

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For instance, issues about linguistic repression and cultural barriers face culturally diverse societies due to the existence and assertion of rights among people in the mainstream and minority cultures. Accordingly, this paper tackles the cultural and linguistic barriers faced by Chicano Spanish in the U.S. in the process of their interaction and integration in the mainstream American society. Further, this paper also studies the different linguistic variations among Chicano Spanish living in mainland U.S. and those living in near the American borders. In relation to Anzaldua’s article, this paper contends that the concept of wild tongue does not actually exist. instead, it is actually a misunderstanding between the mainstream and minority culture concerning their linguistic and cultural practices. Further, this research argues that idea of wild tongue arises out of the outward and seemingly unreasonable restrictions that the American society puts upon its Chicano Spanish immigrants. Relatively, Chicano/as become linguistically aggressive by using the Pachuco language, regardless of the existent linguistic restrictions, and this also brings out the idea of linguistic terrorism. At the end of this research, this paper hopes to identify the implications of linguistic repression on the identity formation of individuals, particularly on how they perceive other cultural denominations. In addressing those objectives, this paper provides the analysis of related literature, particularly scholarly journals and books about the Chicano culture and the Chicano Spanish language. Article Overview Anzaldua’s article highlights one of the most common challenges faced by immigrants in the U.S., particularly those who are non-native English speakers. In the article, Anzaldua defends the origins and authenticity of the Chicano Spanish language while maintaining her assertions concerning the linguistic restrictions in the U.S. as linguistic terrorism against their language (36). In the article, Anzaldua explains that the Chicano Spanish language comes as a collective desire of the Chicanos/as to assert their cultural and linguistic individuality. For instance, she cites her personal experience on linguistic differences and cultural adaptation wherein she also asserts the repressive impact of such repressions on identity formation. Aside from this, the bottom-line of Anzaldua’s article is her argument about the wild tongue as an assertive response to the existent repressions in the U.S. Anzaldua points out such restrictions in the first few paragraphs of the article, particularly with her encounter with people in the American society. For instance, she cites her meeting with the dentist, who tried to control her tongue. Although the dentist intends to attend to Anzaldua’s teeth, one can say that she misunderstood the dentist’s statement as an outward restriction against her speaking her native language. In the succeeding paragraphs, Anzaldua points out the existing treatment of teachers, both English and Spanish, in teaching English to Chicanos. Specifically, this includes the training both inside and outside the school wherein children, at an early age, are taught to repress their own language and accent to effectively, and easily integrate themselves with the majority culture and language, which is English. Throughout