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Zoot Suit

In: Historical Events

Submitted By jaimea11
Words 637
Pages 3
Jaime Aparicio
Dr. G. Nunez
CHIC 305-01
September 22, 2011 The book Zoot Suit has symbolic significance for Mexican Americans and tells about the riots during the World War II. The Sleepy Lagoon Murder was one-step in the fight for the rights and respect of Mexicans American's. In the play El Pachuco wearing an elegant long zoot suit, and is the centerpiece of the play where he is able to pause time and take Henry to the past. El Pachuco symbolizes Mexican American youths who fought for nationalism, family, and equality. Throughout the play, it is clear to say that the Pachuco represents all Chicanos both male and female. This statement true in the way that all Chicanos have the same problems and are fighting for the same rights. El Pachuco also shows a fine connection to the Chicano Nationalist Paradigm and the model of obligatory heterosexuality. For instance, his personality is very masculine and proceeds himself to be a tough person because traditionally been defined as a queer or gay would be considered outside of la familia. In addition, El Pachuco shows Henry his devotion, and loyalty when he express his patriotism of being a pachuco. In addition, El Pachuco describes the relationship between a father and son in a ideal Mexican family. Lastly, El Pachuco symbolizes how equality played a significant part for many Chicanos that were set aside and treated differently by their race, language, culture, and eventually where not assimilated as equal citizens. The main understanding that El Pachuco portrays about la familia is like a government with different levels of power. For example, Enrique is the king of the house and is respected by all the members in the family. Although Henry portrays himself to be a Pachuco and all the masculine features that follow that image, it is unrealistic for Henry to ever be the king of the house as long as Enrique is still alive. For example, at the end of the play when Henry was trying to go outside to defend Joey, his dad throws Henry to the grown to keep from getting arrested again. When Henry stands up in the heat of the moment he thinks about fighting Enrique to get to Joey but he thinks about how the family bound will be broken if he was to hit his father. In the same sean it shows how Henry shows signs of El Pachuco by being masculine and putting his life in the line to defend family. No matter what Henry Shows in various occasion how he puts his family first from any other. The Sleepy Lagoon Murder all started when Henry was looking over and defending his brother from the Downey Gang. El Pachuco describes how the Sleepy Lagoon trial was a great example of Chicanos fighting for their equality among society. For instance, El Pachuco says in the trial, "Look at your gang. They do look like mobsters. Se watchan bien gachos". The several days Henry and his gang were in jail, they were not giving any clothes or time to shower. This shows that their appearance in the trail and their image was going to persuade the judge's final decision. Eventually, Henry and Alice were able to unite and win the trial. Chicano Nationalism is the devotion to one's own country and concern for its defense. El Pachuco is a primary example of why Henry patriotism is express throughout the play. At the beginning, Henry was hesitant to accept Edward, Alice, and people other than his barrio that was willing to help him in the case of the sleepy lagoon. El Pachuco says, " The barrio needs you, carnal. Fight back! Stand up to them with some style. Show the world a Chicano has balls. Hang tough. You take it. Remember, Pachuco Yo!".

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