Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Scott Self

Secondary Advisor

Carolina Archer

Committee Reader

Todd Womble


The field of Mexican-American literature, also known as Chicano literature, is known for the usage of Spanish within the texts as this makes the text feel more authentic to the Hispanic life. Established authors, Rudolfo Anaya and Sandra Cisneros, have influenced new recent award-winning Chicano voices, Erika Sánchez and Mario Alberto Zambrano. Thus, the representation of the Chicano world that these authors are providing needs to be examined as they are and will be influencing the voice of future Chicano works. Their usage of Spanish within the texts is crucial to the telling of the story and the development of the protagonist within the novel. The variety of Spanish that is presented in these texts can take different forms: standard Spanish, slang, code-switching between English and Spanish, and translation for the reader. These different forms can reveal the characters’ relationship with Spanish and how it impacts the way that they see the world. In this paper, I focus on the dialogue between elders and children from selected works to reveal how the children’s use of Spanish reflects on their relationship with their Hispanic identity. These conversations will be the focus since it is through their elders that they have this relationship with Spanish. These conversations will reveal if the child considers Spanish to be a part of their being and what form of Spanish they have taken in as their own. The outcome of this research is to find if, and if so, how Spanish has influenced the identity of Chicanos in the United States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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