Hybrid literature and hybrid lives
Doss, Sarah Harden
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This study grapples with the questions of Latina identity, specifically as communicated through two adolescent novels, Esperanza Rising and Becoming Naomi León, both written by Pam Muñoz Ryan. This study discusses the rising prominence of multi-cultural literature in America and the notability of hybrid identities throughout America. Individuals simultaneously coordinate and operate within different personal schemas. Multi-cultural literature supports the thesis that identity is dynamic, and vindicates the struggle of those who consistently walk in a hybrid identity. I argue that multi-cultural literature is best embodied through the generic construction of secular redemption. Examining personal redemption as a function of agency, we find that often characters’ actions are based upon their individual levels of self-awareness and the influence of others in their lives. Multi-cultural literature maintains a variety of unique aspects, among which are family importance, focus on highlighting injustice in the world, and challenges to complacency.