This essay is going to be based on close reading from the classical play "Los Vendidos" (The Sellouts) which is written by Luis Valdez, and first performed in 1967. This play depicts the U.S government parodies in its assimilation policies which usually gravitate toward aggravated assault toward racial identities. The paper critically analyzes the Mexican-American stereotypes as the community representative to racial discrimination in this region. This paper will centralize on the racial, gender, identity construction, stereotypes and discrimination which are the main focus of the play and the emphasis of the essay. The paper shall attempt to highlight the struggles and discrimination which is faced by the American-Mexican community.
In this one act play by playwright Luis Valdez named Los Vendidos which means “the Sellouts.” The author depicts all the prejudices which is basically succumbed by the Mexican community living in America. Each character is the play is described by the label of the play, the characters include Honest Sancho whose occupation is proprietor of a Mexican curio shop, Ms. Jiminez the American secretary with Mexican background, farm worker, the revolutionary and the Pachuco whom are considered Chicanos stereotypes (Valdez, 99).
The secretary working at a governor’s office ventures to source for a Mexican robot representative for the administration so as to diversify the staff. The applicant virtues are evaluated discriminatory, the revolutionary is analyzed to be too salvage to adapt to new ways of life, the Pachuco is abusive and violent, the peon is assumed lazy and the farm worker is assumed crude and cynical. The secretary settles for an intellectual public speaker, bilingual and college educated model known as Eric Garcia and pays for $15,000. After the payment he engages the other model into revolutionary chants and the secretary filled with fear and fright flees, and the models split the cash between themselves (Huerta, 274).
Gender, Stereotypes, Discrimination, Identity construction and Historical Circumstances of the Play
This play humbles the Mexican American stereotypes that have negative impacts on treating their fellow citizens with discrimination. Thus further elucidate the Latinos stereotypes and the effects that they have on the society as the play cast label how Mexican are racially discriminated in the society. This show cases how gender in the process of discrimination plays part in the stereotypes prejudices inflicted on some community in the society. This is best displayed when the secretary a full Mexican, who is fighting identity crisis, dejects his fellow kinsmen discriminating them through their cultural and social stance as echoed by Valdez (pp, 121).
According to Huerta (pp, 276) each model has own unique individuality, cultural background and social stance. Which is displayed by the entire model like the farm worker who is devoted to his masters, “he travels back to Mexico and does not return…” and he also does not speak English. The Pachuco is considered a rebel urban model involved in “knife fights, a thief and built for speed, low-riding, and city life.” all the other model have their own characteristics which are not evaluated, however, the analyzed stereotype characteristics are branded to this model depending of their earlier background. This is the common stereotype which brings about racial discrimination, this is brought about by identity construction based on own assumed cultural background of the discriminated community. In the play the characteristics of the models which are attached to them are biased and fabricated by the society to snare the Mexican community as being barbarian and uncivilized.
The funny part in the whole play scenario is that the government policy so exemplify for such discrimination and have no remorse feeling in amending them. The secretary from the governor office, which is supposed to be a public office which set examples in the society, is the one whom fabricated to the models assumed and degrading characteristics based on their cultural background. This ridiculous qualities inflicted upon the models by the secretary surely depicts the aftermath of being unfairly stereotyped. The fabricated diet of the models shows remorse discrimination and degradation of the cultural ethic of Mexican. This refers to Mexican being scavengers and savages with no respect of life and proper modern existence. The play depicts Sancho’s shop as the secretary acclaims “Used Mexican Lot” this phrase likens the Mexican to objects and degrades the identity. The secretary refusal on the first models with assumptions on fabricated flaws on the model depicts ho people are discriminated based on their cultural background in America. These reflections indicate a reflection how stereo types quickly make assumption based on one cultural background. Being judgmental deprives someone else dignity and identity succumbing them to subject of racial discrimination and labeling of degrading names as exemplified by Huerta (pp, 278).
This play levels many facts which bring about discrimination, and open eyes to the audience how Mexican are prone for stereotyping. The evidence in the play depicts how the Mexican community has formulated a defense mechanism from this prejudice inflicted on them with the government full consent with demeaning policies. This play further attempt to eliminate the fabricated stereotype characteristics on the Mexican that does not holds and also emphasizes need of truth and reason behind labeling.