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Transcript of Snapping Lines
The Mexican War in 1848 resulted in a loss of one-half of territory that Mexico owned. Mexicans living at the border of this separation caused them to comply with the Anglan ownership of the land and, ultimately, lose their identity.
Being forced into a minority group resulted in discrimination,
"The people of Mexican heritage ... became a minority people who were dependent upon the Anglo landowners." (Briggs 1977)
First a derogatory term, Chicano became an identifier for
those not completely Mexican nor American and a symbol of
Easy Time: Tony professes his love for his girlfriend by stealing a car and showing up at his girlfriend, Sylvia's, college. However, he is rejected.
Work Number One: The protagonist only focuses on women's sexual features. He believes he loves Serena, when really he is only in love with her looks.
A Place in France: Leo describes Diana and the Crazy Lady based on their legs and body parts
by Jack Lopez
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Culture's Effect on Relationships
Culture's Effect on Relationships cont...
Other relationships are broken due to a difference in values
These include females from different cultures who affect the Chicano male's machismo
Often, the males struggle with their identity because they feel emasculated by independent woman.
1. Lopez largely attributed his difficulties publishing to racism. Do you think this was the case?
2. Let's say you run a literary magazine. You receive one of the stories from this book as a submission. Do you print it?
3. Does this book have any similarities to Waiting?
4. Are the characters in this novel seriously flawed? Or are their flaws what makes them human?
5. Now that the book is finished, has your opinion on what the title "snapping lines" means changed?
6. Why did Lopez leave out events like the LA school walkouts that, by all assumptions, should have impacted his protagonists?
The Chicano lifestyle that all male protagonists face in this novel constrains their relationships through differences in culture. The fact that the protagonists are stuck between American and Mexican ideals inhibits their ability to properly function in American society.
About the Author
Grew up in Southern California
Born in Lynwood, California, and spent his teenage years in Huntington Beach area
Pursued writing academically. Teaches creative writing and has an MFA in it.
Book contains many themes from his life
His brother died of AIDS, mirroring the brother's death in easy time
Skied, like the protagonist in work number three
Worked in construction, like a good portion of the protagonists.
Due to the machismo culture, relationships in the novel are mostly shallow because the culture makes it hard for males to go beyond the surface of their relationships and form anything more meaningful.
'Machismo' [can be defined as] male dominance, patriarchy, and emphasis on masculinity"(1977 Briggs)
Then men end up viewing the woman as a sexual object, thus subjecting themselves from creating significant foundations to their relationships.
The snowflakes that surround the protagonist reinforce his good nature.
Snowflakes are white—purity.
Snowflakes are unique—the protagonist.
He does not view the woman as a sexual object. Instead of describing her body, he describes her character.
Also, he wants to fit in, but is willing to stand up for his beliefs. The other protagonists fit in, but let the people around them change them.
Tony, in Easy Time, is the closest a protagonist comes to rebelling. But he does it inwardly. All he does is disobey advice.
The Chicano Movement
The Chicano movement became a fight for civil rights in the U.S.
"In the mid-1960s a sense of self-determination and a desire for immediate social change served as catalysts for the Mexican-origin population of the US" (Garcia 1996)
In the South: Raymond is unable to live with the fact that his wife is independent. He is the male, thus, he should have been the one to cheat
Turning Mean: Jesse's wife wanted him to give up his education in Arizona and move to Southern California to live with her and work for her father.
The Wind Blows It Away: All Gil's relationships fail due to difference in values.
Ex: He and his wife wanted a wedding but when his wife's family got involved the wedding had over 500 people.
Briggs, Vernon M., Walter A. Fogel, and Fred H. Schmidt. The Chicano Worker. Austin: University of Texas, 1977. Print.
Castaneda, Oscar R. "Chicano Movement." Chicano Movement. University of Washington, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/Chicanomovement_part1.htm>.
Garcia, John A. "The Chicano Movement: Its Legacy for Politics and Policy." Chicanas/ Chicanos at the Crossroads. Ed. David R. Maciel and Isidro D. Ortiz. N.p.: University of Arizona, 1996. N. pag. Print.
Greenblatt, Stephen. "Culture." Critical Terms for Literary Study. Ed. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas MacLaughlin. Chicago [u.a.: Univ. of Chicago, 1995. N. pag. Print.
Hurtado, Aída. Voicing Chicana Feminisms: Young Women Speak out on Sexuality and Identity. New York: New York UP, 2003. Print.
López, Jack. Snapping Lines: Stories. Tucson: University of Arizona, 2001. Print.
Unequal rights in the schooling system ultimately led to the 1968 East Los Angeles Walkouts.
"The labor-force participation rates for high school graduates were about the same as those for dropouts, whereas for all whites and Negroes, male dropouts had significantly lower labor-force rates than graduates. (Briggs 1977)
According to Greenblatt, “the works [writers] create are structures for the accumulation, transformation, representation, and communication of social energies and practices.”
Jack Lopez shows that, even between two cultures whose lines are snapped as incongruously as possible, there is a small glimmer of hope. All it takes is one man to tell the masses there is another way.
Chicanos had to fight for equal rights in the work force where they were given poor wages and the least skilled jobs.
Formation of the Chicano Moratorium emerged to promote anti-war as the effects of the Vietnam war took a toll.
"Mexican-American youth turned 'Chicano' into a politically charged term used for self-identification." (Castaneda 2006)