In Who’s Irish, I found it somewhat upsetting that there is such a disconnect between the mother’s life and the daughter’s, as if nothing she learned as a child transferred to adulthood so she could pass it on to her wild daughter. When the daughter comments that she has “no one to turn to,” I found I was angry, for at least she had a mother who was physically there to help her. The unsuccessful transfer of culture sometimes morphs families into split and unrecognizable entities. Despite this, the mother never ceases to comment on the beauty of her daughter, hinting that there is something stronger than culture that holds people together.
Anzaldúa is searching for balance in Borderlands. She alternates between English and Spanish and conveys that she is, in fact, a whole, just a whole of different parts. She finds herself at many borders and crossroads that seem to define her, but she refuses to let them fissure who she is.
In Borders, the mother’s determination, pride and unwillingness to lose her identity actually becomes quite annoying and I feel slightly ashamed in feeling that. But, by the close of the short passage, I found myself saying that this lady was right; she shouldn’t abandon who she is because she has met a physical border. It requires courage to retain your identity when you may be considered different, or not American, or not Canadian. This woman considered her Blackfoot identity as a vital part of herself and what would happen if she gave that up? What would her son think of their identity if she had chosen to give that up?