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Post 10: Memory and reflection revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — bipasha255 at 7:58 am on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Although both Quinonez and Morales both go back to the neighborhoods in which they grew up in their youth, their essays are focused upon differently. Morales gives a general overview of the neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, and how he perceived for it to be, and how it actually is. Quinonez on the other hand goes in-depth by solely focusing on the botanicas of Spanish Harlem and how they serve as a prominent part in the lives of many who reside in the neighborhood. “The White Baby” was an interesting essay because it was a story Quinonez had heard as a child 25 years ago, and he returns to his old neighborhood just to find out if the story was true and what had really happened. I also found it interesting how the story was revealed to him, the belief in these spirits and how one can be deceived as well. Morales’ essay was more of taking a walk down the neighborhood and indulging its surroundings, its people and attitude. Once Mexicans would get beat up, but now they practically have the same rights as the Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. I personally felt that Morales’ essay brought out more of the theme of racism and gentrification, not only because he speaks about it throughout his essay with emphasis on the nationalities, but also because it is what we witness if we take a trip down to Spanish Harlem ourselves. Quinonez doesn’t necessarily emphasize on the fact of racism or gentrification, but it is implied, especially when a Hispanic man was asking for a white baby. He does get his white baby with blue eyes and blonde hair but little does he know that his wife slept with a white man in order to give him that child. I enjoyed reading Quinonez’s essay more than Morales’ because I liked the story he went in search of finding out as well as his writing style. I have also read his book Bodega Dreams, which is also about Spanish Harlem and it’s go abouts.

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