During the semester we read “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua for one of our class readings. When I first read this essay I thought it was just talking about how she was a rebellious girl that could not be controlled. However, after we read through the essay in class, I understood how language played a bigger part of what makes an individual. I became very interested in this essay because whenever I read something so far it would only be either in Spanish or in English. I had never seen a text that combined the two languages without there being a translation right after something was written in Spanish. I had heard “Spanglish” every time I had a family gathering but seeing it in text just made me see writing in a very different way.

through reading this essay, I grew very interested in the author, and in turn, I wanted to learn more about Gloria Anzaldua’s personal life and how it translated into her writing.



Timeline of Gloria Anzaldua

1942 – Birth on  September 24th 1942, Gloria Alzaldua was born in a small town south of texas, in Rio Grande Valley to Urbano and Amalia Anzaldúa.

1968 – Gloria received a Bachelor in English, Art from the University of Texas–Pan American

In college she joined active cultural poets and radical dramatists such as Hedwig Gorski, and Ricardo Sanchez.

1977 – Gloria moves to California, where she supported herself through her writing, lectures, and occasional teaching students about feminism, Chicano studies, and creative writing at San Francisco State University, the University of California, and other universities.

1981 – Gloria co-edits This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

1987 – She writes the semi-autobiographical Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

2004 – Death in 2004 she was close to completing the book manuscript, Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality.


Anzaluda’s Literature and Personal Life

This Bridge Called My Back:

“Shiva, a many-armed and legged body with one foot on brown soil, one on white, one in straight society, one in the gay world, the man’s world, the women’s, one limb in the literary world, another in the working class, the socialist, and the occult worlds”

Anzaldúa’s essay ‘”La Prieta” talks about Gloria’s life in Texas as she feels out of place and detached from the word. In order for her to feel like she belongs to something Anzaldúa creates Mundo Zurdo, a place where she can go to hide away. The passage describes the identity battles that Gloria had throughout life. For example, in her childhood, Anzaldúa faces the challenge of being a woman of color. Then she realizes her family’s racism and how she is the “other” because of their mindset that being white means prestige, meaning that color in skin is dirt to society. In addition, the male in the home was seen as the person with power which created a dilemma because even though this is the way that white societies worked it did not mean that racism and sexism just rested with them alone but also existed within people of color as well. The image of Shiva serves as a way to represent her unwillingness to be part of social norms and to challenge what is expected.

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

This autobiographical book discusses her life growing up on the Mexico–Texas border. Borderlands examines the women in Chicano and Latino culture. Anzaldúa discusses several issues related to Chicana life such as, colonialism, heteronormativity, and male dominance. The first half of the book is a series of essays, which features a view into a life of loneliness in the borderlands between cultures. The other half of the book is poetry. In the book two variations of English and six variations of Spanish are used. Using these languages makes it difficult for non-bilinguals to read. Language was one of the barriers Gloria dealt with as a child, and she wanted readers to understand how frustrating things are when there are language barriers. The book was written to encourage one’s heritage and culture.

Light in the Dark⁄Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality

Throughout Light in the Dark, Anzaldúa connects personal narratives into deeply engaging theoretical readings to comment on a lot of major issues. The issues talked about include the neocolonial practices in the art world, coalitional politics, and the September 11 attacks. She values forms and methods of creating, being, and knowing that have been treated as insignificant by Western thought.


MLA Citation

“Chicana Feminism – Theory and Issues”. www.umich.edu.

“Gloria Anzaldúa”. www.uhu.es

Anzaldúa, Gloria E. Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rethinking Identity, Spirituality, Reality. Durham and London: Duke, 2015.

What is Linguistic Terrorism?, The Gloria E. Anzaldúa Foundation

Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza: Gloria … https://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-Frontera-Mestiza-Gloria-Anzaldúa/dp/1879960850.

“Gloria E. Anzaldúa.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Nov. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_E._Anzaldúa#cite_ref-3.