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Silent Dancing by Cofer

  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2014 06:40 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.9 
  • Words: 561
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Judith Ortiz Cofer’s family moved to New Jersey in1950 when she was three years old (69). Cofer describes what it was like growing up in between two different cultures, histories, traditions and languages. She sees her family’s, her community’s and own transformation as she grows up. Her family started buying expensive clothes and going out for lunch, as the Puerto Rican community was getting bigger and bigger.
    All Cofer could remember from her childhood was shades of grey. As newly arrived immigrants in the U.S, they met racial prejudice and discrimination. She learned how to play in silence and be quiet in general because her father didn’t want his children to make friends with other Puerto Ricans. She started becoming Americanized when she became a fan of American series. For her, having their own TV in El Building was a luxury (71). The television helped her see the differences between Americans and Puerto Ricans. Growing older Cofer could see how different her brother’s girlfriend, who had just come to the U.S, was from her cousin that grew up in U.S. In “Silent Dancing”, Cofer kept a balance between the traditional Puerto Rican culture and the modern American culture.
    As Cofer describes her father, he was a hardworking man. His “obsession” to leave the “barrio” did not allow the family to form any bonds with the place or the people who lived there. But for her mother, who had never completely gotten over leaving her homeland, the overwhelmingly Puerto Rican atmosphere of the “barrio” was comforting (70). This concept is clear when Cofer writes, “the only thing his money could not buy us was a place to live away from the barrio- his greatest wish, Mothers greatest fear” (71). Her mother was shopping at “La Bodega”, a small store across the street, where she could find her favorite products. They were the only ones in El Building that were celebrating Christmas and Dia de Reyes (71). Few years later Cofer’s family started shopping at big stores such...

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