I the unspoken thirst to be freed from all

I will
make a difference. This single thought probably played on repeat in Gloria
Anzaldúa’s mind as she wrote Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
in 1987. Anzaldúa was a lesbian Chicana poet and writer as well as a feminist
and cultural activist. One of her most popular works elaborated on several
subjects pertaining to the diverse Chicano culture. In this excerpt from her
book, Anzaldúa directs herself to an audience of fellow Chicanas and Chicanos
(those of Mexican descent and born in the United States) by sharing common
emotions she and her people often have regarding certain sensitive subjects. In
her book, Anzaldúa fluently expressed the unspoken thirst to be freed from all
borders that many Chicanos face, physically and figuratively. In this excerpt,
she argues that some of the most difficult borders Chicanos face include linguistic
terrorism, racial identity, and given circumstance. Through eloquent usage of tone, diction, and syntax in building her
argument, Gloria Anzaldúa was able to incorporate ethos, logos,
and pathos in a way that appealed to her audience.

At the beginning of this excerpt from Borderlands/La
Frontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria Anzaldúa immediately sets the tone for
the following argument with the words: “Deslenguados. Somos los del español deficiente,” (Anzaldúa, 1). This translates to “Tongueless. We are
those of the Spanish poor.” By immediately diving into an intercultural rivalry
of the same language, Anzaldúa sets a restless and frustrated tone that the
Chicano reader can relate to. Discontentment with being treated as a
lower-class of Mexican, or Chicana, is expressed through her work as she
explains that the difference of dialect should be treated as a geographical
quirk, and not a singular language set in stone. Anzaldúa states: “There is no
one Chicano language just as there is no one Chicano experience… Chicano
Spanish is as diverse linguistically as it is regionally,” (Anzaldúa, 1). This
restless and frustrated tone carries on throughout the rest of this excerpt as
she touches on the subject of racial identity and the given circumstances as well.
With this tone, Gloria Anzaldúa appeals to her audience’s thirst for a language
with no borders.

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As she sets the overall tone for this excerpt, Gloria
Anzaldúa uses precise diction to paint a vivid image in the minds of her fellow
Chicano readers. By incorporating both Spanish and English text into her
writing, the author is able to speak directly to her readers in what may be
their native languages. The specific words that she uses – deslenguadas,
burla, culturally crucified, huérfano, orphan tongue,
illegitimate, bastard language, pena, agringadas, serpents
tongue, raza – place varying levels of intensity and meaning to each
reader. More specifically, the words written in Spanish allow her audience of Chicanos
to completely understand Anzaldúa on a more personal level. In addition to the
Spanglish-style mix, the employment of words such as we, us, and our place the reader on the same level
as the author, which in turn gives the reader a sense of familiarity and
comradeship to a certain extent. By using her Chicano style of diction,
Anzaldúa is able to support her argument and appeal to her Chicano audience.

Along with an effective use of tone and diction, Gloria
Anzaldúa’s syntax in this Borderlands/La Frontera excerpt almost gives the
reader a glimpse of the author’s own thoughts. While the majority of this
excerpt contains well-structured English sentences, the shifts between
languages almost sound as if Gloria were speaking interactively with the
reader. One example is as follows: “Humildes yet proud, quietos
yet wild, Chicanos will walk by the crumbling ashes as we go about our
business,” (Anzaldúa, 3). Here, the natural transition between Spanish and
English are portrayed realistically – almost as if she forgot how to say one
word in English and therefore resorted to Spanish. Because of the constant yet
natural transitions between both languages, Chicano readers are made to feel as
if they were reading a letter directed to them personally. The usage of this
mixed syntax allows Anzaldúa to present her argument naturally yet eloquently.

Just as the structure of her words strengthen her argument,
Gloria Anzaldúa makes sure to satisfy the ethos, logos, and pathos
of her audience; one of the first to be implemented is ethos. In this excerpt,
Anzaldúa establishes her credibility and character through her Spanglish-type
writing and background as well as using outside sources and authorities in her
writing. Anzaldúa’s credibility and character is shown throughout this entire
text; one example of her own authority on this subject is the following quote:
“Yet the struggle of identities continues, the struggle of borders is our
reality still. One day the inner struggle with this and the true integration
will take place. In the meantime, tenemos que hacer
la lucha. ¿Quién está protegiendo los ranchos de mi gente? Quien está tratando
de cerrar la fisura entre la india y el blanco en nuestra sangre? ” (Anzaldúa,
3). Here, Anzaldúa’s words convey her experience with the struggles she’s
addressing while also conveying her concern for her people, strengthening her
character. Equally important, outside sources and authorities can be seen
throughout the entire excerpt with a total of seven citations. By incorporating
ethos into her work, Gloria Anzaldúa is able to reach her audience since they
see this work as a trustworthy read.

In addition to ethos, Gloria Anzaldúa also
incorporates logos into her work. Logos can especially be seen
when the author speaking on the subject of racial identity, a controversial matter
even today. This selection from Borderlands/La Frontera focuses on the
role Chicanos play in this matter. Anzaldúa explains that Chicanos and other
people of color often endure hardships for not fully conforming to one culture.
“This voluntary yet forced alienation makes for psychological conflict, a kind
of dual identity – we don’t identify with the Anglo-American cultural values
and we don’t totally identify with the Mexican cultural values. We are a
synergy of two cultures with various degrees of Mexican-ness or Anglo-ness,” (Anzaldúa,
3). Aside from elaborating on a current controversial issue, the author uses
history to support logos by stating the fact that Chicanos only just became a
distinct people in 1965. She also notes several references to the Black and
Indian components of Chicano ancestry. By establishing logos, Gloria
Anzaldúa shows readers that they are reading a well-built and well-studied

Lastly, Gloria Anzaldúa incorporates pathos into her
work by expressing the given circumstances a Chicano faces. In the last part of
this excerpt the author shares a poem that summarizes what it’s like to be a
Chicano. “Half-breed caught in the crossfire between camps while carrying all
five races on your back not knowing which side to turn to, run from;…”
(Anzaldúa, 4). This incorporation of pathos evokes emotions of
insecurity and makes the Chicano reader wonder about who they really are. With pathos,
Anzaldúa ensures that the reader briefly experiences varrying emotions through
the words of a poem. At the same time, by placing a major emphasis on pathos
at the end of this excerpt with a poem, Anzaldúa ensures that her audience is
swept up in the whirlpool conflicting emotions and ultimately capturing their
complete attention.

In conclusion, by skillfully using
tone, diction, and syntax, Gloria Anzaldúa was able to excellently incorporate ethos,
logos, and pathos into her argument. Her argument
that Chicanos should be able to live independently and free from borders of
cultural norm was well-built and clearly connected with its readers. The use of
diction and syntax helped create the tone for her argument and vice versa. At
the same time, ethos, logos, and pathos were able to be
integrated harmoniously as her diction, syntax, and tone enhanced these
artistic proofs. As a Chicana herself, Gloria used her personal experiences as
a prompt for one of her greatest works. “To survive the borderlands, you must
live sin fronteras; be a crossroads,” (Anzaldúa, 5).