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The themes of American History by Judith Ortiz Cofer are social isolation and also the effects of racism and also xenophobia, signified in Elena"s an obstacle living in Patterson, new Jersey and also how the mindsets of people roughly her influence her feelings around herself and the world.

Elena -- also known together Skinny...


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The themes of American History by Judith Ortiz Cofer are cultural isolation and the impacts of racism and also xenophobia, signified in Elena"s difficulty living in Patterson, brand-new Jersey and also how the mindsets of people roughly her impact her feelings around herself and the world.

Elena -- likewise known as Skinny skeleton -- experience a many of an unfavorable interactions with people due to their racism and also xenophobia. For example, a girl at the start of the story yells in ~ Elena for not jumping rope quick enough, saying "Didn"t friend eat your rice and also beans and also pork chops for breakfast today?" The other girls start making up a hymn with words pork chop and Elena feeling embarrassed and upset.

She thinks about how complicated it is come live in a city in winter. Elena no the weather and how the black color girls in her course seem to always be warm and also fast, if she"s cold and slow. She envies them. She fantasizes about life in Puerto Rico, whereby she"s only been once. She claims that the story her parental tell around it are prefer fairy tales. 

Elena is clogged from progressed classes -- despite her excellent grades -- only because English is not her an initial language.

Her partnership with Eugene isn"t significant by the racism and xenophobia the mar many of her various other encounters. However, as soon as she visits his house, his mother instantly dismisses her and sends her away. She speak Elena that Eugene cannot research with she based just on Elena"s looks and where she lives.

Elena"s reaction come the fatality of president Kennedy reflects her isolation from various other people. They"re all very affected and also her mommy asks Elena to walk to church with her. She additionally expresses surprise that Elena is going to check out Eugene now that chairman Kennedy is dead. Elena, on the other hand, goes home from her encounter with Eugene"s mom shocked and also tries to feel sad for President Kennedy. She is only able to discover tears for herself in the end. 


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The layout of a story is uncovered in the key subject being discussed. For Elena in Cofer"s "American History," managing the prejudice she deals with at such a young age seems to overcome the story. Elena is a Puerto Rican girl that attends a primarily African American public school. She ironically encounters prejudice from girl in she P.E. Course who contact her "Skinny Bones" and also ask her if she eats rice and pork chops for breakfast. Putting up with their consistent harassment renders her feel lonely and isolated.

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Then, as if managing the girls at college isn"t enough, Elena must face prejudice indigenous a white neighbor indigenous Georgia who won"t permit her to examine with Eugene, the just friend she contends school. Elena is shocked beyond id when she is turned far at the doorstep because she stays in El Building and also is Puerto Rican. "You live there?" asks Eugene"s mother and points up at Elena"s home. "She looked intently at me for a pair of heartbeats, then stated as if come herself, "I don"t know how you human being do it.""

Elena is surrounded by prejudiced people who she permits to pains her due to the fact that she is just recognizing their prejudice for what that is. In this coming-of-age story, Elena must look prejudice in the face and decide exactly how she will attend to it. Unfortunately, the reader just gets the component of the story that reflects the growing pains taking care of prejudice, not the component that tells how Elena deals with it. Therefore, the layout of the story revolves around Elena learning around prejudice in the world, that there room different varieties of prejudiced people, and also people have many different reasons for being prejudiced that might shock her at different times in her life.