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.