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“Child of the Americas” by Morales

Child of the Americas is a poem focused on one’s multicultural ethnic background, where the main character’s identity became multifaceted and complex. The author is well-aware of the general heritage she possesses, and she is not inclined to dismiss any aspect of her history. The poet fully understands that her situation is unique compared to typical Americans with homogenous backgrounds, but the writer cherishes the given element.

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The first stanza is the largest and most detailed one within the poem, where the poet identifies her key ethnic traits. She states that she is a white Puerto Rican Jew and American citizen with English as the primary language (Morales, par. 1). In the case of societal diversity, the poet elaborates on her American side, illustrating that she is an immigrant with bi-ethnic parents. She already possesses a strong level of diversity because she is white, Puerto Rican, Jew, and an immigrant.

In the second stanza, the poet focuses on the Caribbean aspect of her heritage. She states that she grew up on an island and cherishes her Spanish side. One of the key lines is related to the author’s description of the culture and language. She states: “Ripples from my tongue, lodges in my hips: the language of garlic and mangoes, the singing of poetry, the flying gestures of my hands” (Morales, par. 2). From the perspective of societal diversity, the poet primarily focuses on her Spanish culture and customs as well as typical traits. She claims that the given language is dynamic, and her Caribbean culture’s traditional food is both spicy and sweet. The diversity is present in this aspect of her heritage because it combines the elements of Spain and America.

In the third stanza, the poet focuses on her small degree of heritage-based relatedness to African, Taino, and European cultures. Although she understands that these influences are relevant to her identity, the author is aware of how foreign they are regardless of the plausibility. The poet writes: “I am not African. Africa is in me, but I cannot return. I am not taína. Taíno is in me, but there is no way back. I am not European. Europe lives in me, but I have no home there” (Morales, par. 3). In other words, she does not dismiss the presence of the given cultures, but the author also does not neglect the fact that she far away from them. The societal diversity can be seen in the poet’s relatedness to her three different cultures.

In the last stanza, there are only two lines, which elaborates on her uniqueness and history. In addition, she states: “I am new. History made me. My first language was Spanglish. I was born at the crossroads, and I am whole.” (Morales, par. 4). In other words, she embraces her heritage of being a product of a multitude of cultures. Societal diversity can be observed in the term Spanglish, which refers to a language formed by combining English and Spanish.

In conclusion, it is evident that the author possesses a rich and multicultural heritage, where she fully understands the real scope of it. In addition, she well-aware of the implications of her origins, which allows her to cherish and embrace all the related diversities. Although I do not possess the author’s rich and diverse ethnic background, I can relate to the poem because my heritage is also multicultural.

Work Cited

Morales, A. Levins. “Child of the Americas by Aurora Levins Morales.” Stephanie Youssef’s Poetry Page, Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 11). “Child of the Americas” by Morales. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/child-of-the-americas-by-morales/

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