La forja de la identidad nacional: La familia Chicana en la literatura de José Antonio Villarreal y Luis Valdez.

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Alcalá de Henares


This article presents the Chicano family as a symbolic space where Chicano cultural and linguistic issues are confronted, allowing for the revision of the roots of traditional culture and offering new altematives. The article focuses on two of the early Chicano writers, Jose Antonio Villarreal and his novel Pocho (1959) and Luis Valdez with his play The Shrunken Head 01 Pancho Villa (1964). The former narrates the dilemma of choosing tradition, as represented by the Mexican rancher family model, and modemity, as represented by American individualismoThe latter dramatizes the family as a political and cultural unit which can bridge the private and public spheres in terms of the creation of a Chicano identity. Both works unite the temporal and ideological space of the Mexican Revolution to the Chicano Movement. Although with different results, the images and symbols taken from the private family domain are used in these works as a platform to create a culture of resistance to the History and experience ofthe Chicano community and for the shaping ofa cultural idéntity.