The NOOK Book (eBook) of the Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal l Summary & Study Guide by BookRags at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $25 or more! Torrent Oggy Et Les Cafards Season 3 The 100 here. The Paperback of the Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $25 or more! Dec 01, 1970 Pocho has 16 ratings and 0 reviews. Villarreal illuminates here the world of pochos, Americans whose parents come to the United States from Mexico.
The 1959 novel, Pocho, by (also and ) is an insightful cultural exposition told primarily from the vantage point of Richard Rubio, the coming-of-age son of immigrant Mexican parents who eventually settle in Santa Clara, California, after many seasons of migrant farm work. Although fiction, the story likely mirrors some of the experiences of the author who was born to migrant laborers in Los Angeles in 1924 and was himself a 'pocho' - a child of the depression era Mexican-American transition.
('I am a Pocho,' he said, 'and we speak like this because here in California we make Castilian words out of English words.' 'That is all there is here,' said Juan Rubio, 'but these people are different - they are also from the lower class, although some of them take on airs here. They are people who were stepped on, much the same as we were in our country. That is the wonder of this country of yours, my son. All the people who are pushed around in the rest of the world come here, because here they can maybe push someone else around. There is something in people, put there only to make them forget what was done to them in other times, so that they can turn around and do the same thing to other people...It is not in retribution because they remember they were once mistreated, my son; it is because they forget.' They had a burning contempt for people of different ancestry, whom they called Americans, and a marked hauteur toward Mexico and toward their parents for their old-country ways.
The former feeling came from a sense of inferiority that is a prominent characteristic in any Mexican reared in southern California; and the latter was an inexplicable compensation for that feeling. They needed to feel superior to something, which is a natural thing. The result was that they attempted to segregate themselves from both their cultures, and became truly a lost race. Pocho was likely the first Mexican-American novel released by a major publisher and is considered the first of, or at least a (pdf, p 8, 9) to, what is now called Chicano literature. It's not a perfect story - the POV changes from father to son on occasion, the life-lessons can seem a bit heavy handed at times, and is, in my opinion, overly concerned with sexuality. Still, it's a mature read and lends itself well for discussion at a college level (or possibly an advanced high school class if taught appropriately).