Distorted views: Reading, language, and culture




Hernandez, Amanda Ann

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With this thesis, I analyze language use and its linguistic devices, cultural distortions or hidden worldviews of a closet world that displays a mocked group who live in the closet inside the mind of a white cat's imagination. Produced and illustrated by Judy Schachner, in the Skippyjon Jones children's series, she draws on Mexican stereotypes, using images and language via Mock Spanish as a means of acceptable public racist discourse, within the framework of social and language competency. In these essays, I problematize the ways in which the Spanish language is used. Most importantly, I unpack the metanarrative, the story behind the story, of Skippyjon Jones. And, after an analysis of its discourse, images, and cultural representations, I posit that the set of stories are a masquerade. A shallow multicultural view of Mexican culture based on a Siamese cat's imagination and its narrative of linguicism and racism. Inside an ersatz Mexican culture that focuses stories in the closet, the inhabitants of this imagined world are Chihuahuas whose origin are in Mexico's Aztec past, further complicating superficial view or simulacrums that image an ancestrally proud people who are reduced to dogs, whose interactions are limited to hiding in a strange land that is only accessible to a White cat that returns time and again to save them.


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Children's literature, Critical Race Theory, Mock Spanish, Racist discourse, Skippyjon Jones, testimonio



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies