Throughout this project I learned many things, but the most useful one that I think I will be using it a lot in future classes is to get to the bottom of what the characters really mean in what they say. In the brown boy, white boy by Jonathan Mendoza, at first I didn’t really get the true meaning behind his story until we had class discussion. Everyone had different perspectives and most of them saw his story in different way. As we had more class discussion like the one we did with Anon(ymous), I started to pick up that skill. The skill to dig in and find the hidden meanings behind what characters are saying. The formats that I chose for the 3 assignments, I picked them based on which one I can show the reader that I understood the story at the best of me. also I tried to connect my story with their story.
Professor J. Polish
In the poem “brown boy, white boy”, Jonathan Mendoza does a great job of explaining the struggle of being a biracial person with his words, examples and most of all with his hand, face expression and with his voice. At the beginning of the poem he explains that he is brown on the inside and white on the outside. As I was listening the poem it struck to me when Jonathan said “biracial boy wishes his skin came with an instruction manual”. Basically he’s not sure where he fits in the society and his family as later on he brings these issues up. And the reason it struck me was because I never thought of people wishing for a skin instruction manual and now that I know, it made me feel emotional to think some people are so confused and lost of their identity due to being a biracial.
Jonathan explains that when he visited his family in Mexico, he felt and was treated like an outsider because of his skin color. So his family does not see him as half mix but rather full white because of his skin color. Now when Jonathan and his family went to the white synagogue his family was the only one not invited to the dinner party. So even though Jonathan skin color is white, white people still see him as a brown and therefor treats him different. Because of that Jonathan says “biracial boy is welcome every where, biracial boy is not welcome everywhere”.
Around the end of the Poem I realize that Jonathan does not only compete with the society nor the family but himself as well. He talks like he has a brain for the brown inside and a brain for the white outside and that there is always this fight between them for their differences. For example when Jonathan explains that a white cop talks of immigration policy he hid his brown from his white skin, but at the same time he does not want to be protected by his skin color. So therefore he is puzzled and wishes he has a skin instructional manual.
The format that I chose is personal essay and I chose this because from all the format, I feel most comfortable with this format and also I think it will go great with “Brown boy, white boy,” by Jonathan Mendoza. Whats unique about this format for me is, I can talk about different things in each paragraph and really give the reader a good understanding of the poem. Questions I have about this format is how should the essay outline be and how long should it be. I don’t really have a question to ask since the class discussion gave me a great understanding of the poem and if I do face a question I will inform you. I want to analyze the important part of the poem like the key main things that he talks about. A rhetorical choice that Jonathan did that struck me was when he did the imitation of pulling the rope with his left hand and right hand. That part just made really understand his pain and struggle.l