Rough Draft #1

Jayson Nunez

ENG 102

Reading Jonathan Mendoza’s poem instantly caught my eye. What struck me even more was the actually video of him reading the poem.The way he delivered his poem was excellent. Jonathan is facing a problem he does not not know if he is white or brown.In his mind Jonathan is constantly at war with himself not knowing if he is white or brown.Jonathan has made 3 important points in his poem.One point is when he says “Brown boy screams hides inside white skin white skin silence”. This is a very powerful point in the poem. He explains how in the inside he is suffering/seeking for help, but all of his emotions inside hide in his white skin. The second important point he mentions is when he says “White boy visits family in Mexico realizes he’s the whitest intruder since conquistadors”. In a way Jonathan does not feel comfortable around his own family. He realizes he is the only white member in his family. The final point and the most important point of the three is when he says “Biracial boy is welcome everywhere,Biracial boy is not welcome everywhere”. He is lost he is confused.His blood is brown but his skin is white which allows him to camouflage anywhere, but that also means he is not welcome in certain places. This is a very powerful poem and thats the reason why i chose to write my essay on Jonathan Mendoza.

One thought on “Rough Draft #1”

  1. Jayson,

    This is very exciting! I would absolutely love, as you continue drafting, to see you continue your analysis of each of those lines you pointed out. If you flesh out each group of sentences into an entire paragraph’s worth of analysis of each line you’re talking about, that would be a great basis for your essay. I know it might seem like a full paragraph can’t come from just one line of poetry, but you speak so beautifully during our group chats in class that I know you have a bunch of brilliant and insightful things to say. In class tomorrow, we can work to flesh all this out.

    Instead of just adding more paragraph space, however, I’d also like you to think about developing an overall claim for your essay: beyond telling your readers simply what Mendoza means, I want to encourage you to dig underneath his words to get at the implications of how he’s saying all this stuff. For example, he repeats himself a lot, especially in that last quote you chose: “biracial boy is welcome everywhere, biracial boy is not welcome everywhere” — what’s the impact of repeating the same phrase, with barely a pause, changing only one word “not”? He could have said something like “I’m welcome in all places, but I’m also not welcome in places at the same time” or something similar — why phrase it like he did? What’s the impact? You know?

    I’m really excited to see what you come up with here — make sure you’re also posting questions for your peer reviewers so they can help you out, too!!


Leave a Reply