Sunday, December 21, 2008

Internal Structure 2: Sonrisas

-Pat Mora

The structure of this poem is mainly centered around contrasting two very different worlds. the metaphor that represents these worlds is the two rooms mentioned in line two. The speaker, however, is in between the two doorways, a part of both worlds. But, at the same time she is not really part of either worlds. Her world is the doorway, and not the rooms. The poem structures itself into two parts, the initial being a description of the first room. In this part, the speaker looks at her american lifestyle. The reader can tell that she is fully assimilated in american culture through her use of the symbol coffee. Her mention of the things important to an american lifestyle: tenure, curriculum budget. Though these are true mostly for someone involved in education. She talks of the american women in this room as having "beige suits" with "beige smiles that seldom sneak into their eyes". The speaker is talking about the stressful nature of the efficiency driven capitalism that is the trademark of modern american culture. In the second part, the speaker describes another, very different room. In this second room is her mexican heritage. The senoras here have faded dresses to compare with the beige suits of the women in the first room. These women also drink sweet milk coffee to compare with the strong black coffee of room 1. The big emphasis here is culture. While the first room focuses on her job (i.e. curriculum etc.), the second focusses on tamales. This contrast is supported by the other mentioned ones and seems to support the difference between the two rooms. The last two lines, however, show their relationship. The mentioning of the mexican smiles as being trapped in "their dark, mexican eyes" is used to show that the speakers mexican culture actually relieves some of the stress put on her by her american lifestyle.

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