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La Malinche at the Intersection: Race and Gender in Down These Mean Streets
Marta E. Sánchez
Vol. 113, No. 1, Special Topic: Ethnicity (Jan., 1998), pp. 117-128
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/463413
Page Count: 12
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Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets (1967) challenges binary notions of whiteness and blackness by valorizing a third term-mestizaje. And yet the novel enlists dominant views of female gender and sexuality to affirm the protagonist's ethnic male identity. In my Chicana feminist reading of this Puerto Rican text, I import the reinterpreted figure La Malinche and its companion figure La Chingada-prevailing tropes in Chicano and Chicana literature and discourse of the 1960s-to illuminate the complex intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. These intersections are key to social analyses that transcend binary conceptions of race and paradigms of dominant and subaltern.
PMLA © 1998 Modern Language Association