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Ingl3232first project
Ingl3232first project
Ingl3232first project
Ingl3232first project
Ingl3232first project
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Ingl3232first project

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  • 1. 1Efraín Suarez Arce INGL3232(OU1)801-94-8906 Prof. Juan C. Canals First research assignment: 5 page Sample Research Paper (Arial (12) Double Space)I. Subject: Puerto Rican Literature in EnglishII. Topic: Historical Perspectives and Autobiographical Issues in Pedro Pietri’s“Puerto Rican Obituary”III. Hypothesis: A Closer look at the social economic and cultural issues of theNuyorican community according to Pietri a. Historical Perspectives b. Autobiographical IssuesIV. Conclusion 1
  • 2. 2I. Subject: Puerto Rican Literature in EnglishII. Topic: Historical Perspectives and Autobiographical Issues in Pedro Pietri’s“Puerto Rican Obituary”III. Hypothesis: “Puerto Rican Obituary” presents a closer look at the socialeconomic and cultural issues of the Nuyorican community according to Pietria. Historical PerspectivesDuring the late 1940s, many Puerto Ricans began moving to the mainland seekingbetter economic conditions. New York and other Northeast cities became thedestination for thousands of Puerto Ricans who were hired in farms and factories. Theyexperienced racial discrimination, linguistic barriers and other problems. Theseepisodes and difficulties are the main themes documented in their writings.The term "Nuyorican" was originally coined by Puerto Ricans on the island (called“Boricuas”) to refer to the members of what is called the Puerto Rican Diaspora locatedin or around the New York City metropolitan area with another part of Puerto Ricansliving in Northern New Jersey, or of their descendants (especially those raised or stillliving in the New York area). The term is also used by Boricuas as to show thatNuyoricans are not the same as Boricuas. An estimated 800,000 Nuyoricans are said tolive in New York city, the largest Puerto Rican community outside Puerto Rico. It isimportant to note that to this day (and this author can testify to this) Nuyoricans are not 2
  • 3. 3considered Puerto Ricans by the Puerto Ricans of Puerto Rico due to the lack of culturesimilarity. At first, the term had negative connotations. (To this author it still does…)Some people used the term to refer to many Puerto Ricans settled in differentneighborhoods of Manhattan such as El Barrio (East Harlem) or what was calledLoisaida (Lower East Side). In the 1960´s Puerto Rican authors, like Pedro Pietri beganto reclaim the term in order to link their own history and cultural affiliation to a commonancestry while being culturally and physically separated from the island. Significantly,the majority of Pietri’s poems were composed in “Spanglish”, reconfirming his identity asa Nuyorican. Pietri once stated that he wrote in Spanish, but because his typewriterspoke English, his words came out differently.b. Autobiographical Issues“If only they had turned off the television and tuned into their own imaginations.” Pedro PietriThe stylistic choice of Pietri, as one of the Nuyorican poets of the 1960’s, of a stronglanguage that lacks lyrical qualities seems to imply a resistance to Americanization, andan expression of dignity and pride in a puertorrican heritage. This in spite of the racialdiscrimination, linguistic, cultural, social and economic barriers faced by the Nuyoricancommunity. Pietri himself described the impact of the Nuyorican poets:“At the time, it was the decline of the Beat Generation, and poetry went back to theuniversities and became an academic thing, but here come these street poets, man,and we pushed academia out of the way and took over the scene.” 3
  • 4. 4Pietris’s work is known for its sociopolitical exposition of the circumstances of the PuertoRican Diaspora, especially in New York. According to Dr. Alfredo Matilla: "(Pietris’s)work summarizes the literary expression of that Diaspora, collecting and documentingthe language, idiosyncrasies, aspirations, mores and obstacles that it confronts withinthe North American Society to validate its existence.”Juan Flores, a professor at Hunter College, said that "He [Pedro Pietri] captured thatsocial death and the hope that there is recourse to humanity in the Puerto Rican culturethat people had cut themselves off from…It was not just about the poverty, but aboutthe crass materialist culture that leads us all into illusions about ourselves."Frances Aparacio, who has edited Pietris poetry and used it in classrooms said that"Pietris poetry falls within the surrealistic mode, fragmented images, search for theabsurd in everyday life, irrational, surprising metaphors and imagery, humor, andsarcasm,"Latin culture historian Aurora Flores, a friend since 1975 said "He embraced andidentified what it was to be a Nuyorican, a Puerto Rican growing up in New York,"Other observable themes are the demystification of authority figures and socialinstitutions (government, schools, church, "the system") and alienation in contemporaryurban life. Also, the political status and the poverty levels for Puerto Ricans in New Yorkcan be seen in Pietris denunciation of "the system."IV. Conclusion 4
  • 5. 5Pedro Pietri was a poet and playwright who chronicled the joys and struggles ofNuyoricans. His poetry can be described as a poetry of denunciation, of creating culturalawareness among the members of the Nuyorican community and shock them intoaction as we see in "Puerto Rican Obituary," where he seeks to show that what we call“The American Dream” does not and cannot exist for the Nuyorican community untilthey themselves develop awareness of identity and potential. At times playfully absurdand at others angry, heartbreaking and/or hopeful, "Puerto Rican Obituary" wasembraced by young Nuyoricans, who were imbued with a sense of pride andnationalism. "Puerto Rican Obituary" should be understood in these terms withoutlosing sight of its original objective of addressing the masses as oral poetry. This isimportant in order to understand his use of popular language, anger, and style."I see the foundation of a community that ensures our survival, whichperseveres. This history we made, these poets we created… Were here to stay…They cant replace us." Works Cited* (According to the MLA Handbook – 1.5.3)Aparicio, Frances R. “Pedro Pietri: Classroom Issues and Strategies”Georgetown University, 3 Sept 2008<http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/bassr/heath/syllabuild/iguide/pietri.html>Gomez, Maria Cardalliaguet , “Voces Latinas: Cultural Identity through Poetry andLyrics 5
  • 6. 62008 - the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 3 Sept 2008<http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2007/1/07.01.11.x.html >Gonzalez, David “CITYWIDE; When Life Is Art, Bowing to Death Is Not an Option”,2004 – the New York Times 3 Sept 2008<http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E7DF1538F934A15752C0A9629C8B63Nadal, Lenina “Performing Profound: A History and Interactive Playground ofPuerto Rican Performance Poetry”Performing Profound.org 3 Sept 2008<http://www.performingprofound.com/thesisproposal.pdf>Ramirez, Ana Maria “News & Analysis: The reverend Pedro Pietri”2006 - Party for Socialism and Liberation 3 Sept 2008<http://www.pslweb.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr008=fhx33zlie1.app1b&page=NewsArticle&id=5309&news_iv_ctrl=1201>Pietri, Pedro (1944-2004) “Puerto Rican Obituary; Poems”Monthly Review Press, 1973Yvonne - “Art News & Reviews: Pedro Pietri 1944-2004”,WBAI RADIO 99.5FM, New York City, 2004 - PACIFICA FOUNDATION, 3 Sept 2008 6
  • 7. 7<http://wbai.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1426&Itemid=2> 7

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