Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Gary Schneider
This study argues that although borders divide and fragment identity, there can be an embracement of a hybrid identity. Mártinez's novel, Mother Tongue, uses the representation of a Mexican-American female who has recognized and endeavored to cross a border to better understand the complexities of her hybrid identity. This journey is represented through Mary, a young woman who resides on a physical border between the United States and Mexico and lives on a cultural border between New Mexico and El Salvador. Martínez presents the cultural, historical, linguistic, and psychological aspects of living on a border between the United States and Latin America throughout the course of the novel. A significant contribution to the existing Chicana Literary canon is the way in which Martínez illustrates how the presence of Jose Luís, a refugee from El Salvador, brings about Mary's recognition of her suppressed Latino/a identity and her endeavor to retain it.
University of Texas-Pan American