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Ora is in the open poem form, it has no stanzas. It does have a few words that rhyme which are “English” (5) and “Spanish” (6) and also with “Mexicans” (14) and then with “Americans” (15). The poem also has rhythm, it is a low steady beat. It is a straightforward poem about how life is for a person with the same race/ethnicity as others and at the same time, different from others.
The poem “Legal Alien” is about a woman of Mexican parents, who is born and raised in America. An American citizen established by law, but at the same time this person feels like an illegal alien because of how some people treat her. She is fluent in both, English and in Spanish. Feels American because she is, but at the same time she doesn’t. She is looked at by Americans (Anglos) as inferior, and looked at by Mexicans like she doesn’t belong.
They make her feel like she is not one of them, like she doesn’t fit anywhere. “An American to Mexicans a Mexican to Americans a handy token sliding back and forth between the fringes of both worlds” (14-18).Wha Rosa PantojaPeriod 110/9/12Ms. HamptonAmerican literatureLegal Alien EssayThe beliefs of the contemporary time period is that the voices of all cultures, ethnicgroups, gender, and nationalities should be heard and poetry is universal and speaks to allpeople regardless of their background. In the poem Legal Alien by Pat Mora, the literary devicesthat Pat Mora uses are metaphor and personification.
These literary devices help reveal the author’s message to the audience which are the Mexican-Americans. The metaphor show thatbeing Mexican-American has its advantages and the personification shows the disadvantages of how people view Mexican-American.Pat Mora uses metaphor to reveal the message that being Mexican-Americans has anadvantage to the audience.
In line 16 “a handy token sliding back and forth betwee. n the fringes of both worlds…” this is a metaphor because she is comparing herself to a token. She comparesherself to a token because tokens usually have two sides to it, and she is implying that she alsohas two sides because she is Mexican and American. P at Mora uses “handy token” because she says that it is an advantage because she can go between the borders of being Mexican andbeing American.
Pat uses the word “fringes” instead of using the word border because the fringe is bringing both sides of the world together and a border separates the two worlds of Americans and Mexicans, and by her being Mexican- American she is bringing both of thoseworlds togethe.