Books and Movies Reviews

When I was Puerto Rican

The biographical tale When I was Puerto Rican, written by Esmeralda Santiago, tells of a poor girl trying to succeed. The settings in this novel have an important influence on Esmeralda; they change her ideals and influence her behavior as an adult. In When I Was Puerto Rican, a biography by Esmeralda Santiago, Negi goes through many changes based on the challenges she endures by moving to new areas where society is different all of these changes allow her to become a better person; when she moves to Mancun girls did not have any specific duties, when she lives in El Mangle Negi has to face extreme prejudice against her upbringing, and when she leaves Puerto Rico to move to Brooklyn, she is forced to face an entirely different society moreover a completely different culture.
As a child, Mancun is the place Negi's heart has always longed for this is the place where she felt the most security. No matter where her family relocates she always yearns to return to Mancun. Even though life is tough there, having is no electricity or flowing water; it is a place with generally happy memories. The grass is green, the sky is clear and mango trees lined the scenery. It is like a post card for Puerto Rico, "A bannaquitflew to the thorny branch of a lemon tree and looked from side to side. Dots of sun danced the green walls of the shady grove above low bushes weighted with pigeon peas, the earth screened with twigs, sensitive moriviv plants, and French weed studded with blue flowers."(PG. 8). It is not just the setting that makes Mancun so appealing to Negi. She has no set "role", she is generally treated the same as the boys. Negi is expected to help her mother and respect her elders, the boys usually are expected to help care for siblings and respect those who are older; this is thefirst cultural aspect in the novel. As an editor from the Los Angles Times Book Review wrote,"One can only be grateful that …


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