George Washington Gomez

George Washington Gomez

In George Washington Gomez by Americo Paredes, we read about the life of a young boy that is raised between the 1930’s and 1940’s. The main character in the book, Gualinto, is raised by his uncle Feliciano. Sadly, his father, Gumersindo, is killed early on in the book by what are called rinches (Texas Rangers). From the very beginning of the book we are introduced to violence involving the Mexicans and the Anglos in South Texas. The violence is initiated by both parties. In Gualinto’s death, the rinches initiated conflict. Gualinto was described to be a peaceful man, “…Because I thought that here I could find work and peace. Why do we have to hate each other?” (Paredes, 21)

Many forms of racism are mentioned in the text. As previously mentioned, Mexicans have an evident hatred for the rinches and vice versa. Another example of this animosity is when Remigio killed the innocent peddler. The peddler had done nothing wrong but because of his skin color he was killed. Mexicans have also been racist towards each other and have acted unfavorably. For example, if we move forward to when Gualinto begins school, we are shown an evident example of interracial racism. Gualinto’s teacher, Miss Cornelia, shows unprofessional and ridiculing behavior towards him. The way she hits him and verbally abuses him arouses a discomforting feeling to say the least. One of the reasons for this uncalled behavior, is her jealousy of Gualinto’s intelligence. Instead of praising him, she ridicules him and embarrasses him in each classroom. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is common in that time. However, why must she bestow it on an innocent boy? Each person has a choice to do the right thing, but it is ultimately up to them.

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