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After a decade of violence, death, drugs and arrests, Rodriguez managed to leave that life behind thanks to his love for literature and activism, which he discovered in the 60s by the Chicano movement, which fought in the United States in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam War. An impressive first-hand account of gang life in East Los Angeles, the memories of Luis J. Rodriguez relate the struggle of a man in these streets of the city. Growing up in the middle of a cycle of violence, Rodriguez was dragged into the dominant gang culture in his neighborhood. Sometimes brutal, but ultimately edifying, always running is a personal story of how Rodriguez entered and then struggled to free himself from his circumstances through education and creative expression. Rodriguez uses metaphor, “crossing border “to show the cultural differences and racism faced by Mexican in USA.
Rodriguez practices finely poetic style and metaphor to narrate the difficulties that he challenged rising up in a family of ill immigrants. He tells his story and grounds that enforced him to join gangs. The name of this story “LA Vida Loca” is linked with cultural gang and it offers him a sense od security, control or belongingness (Rosaldo2738). But later , he realizes that association with gang and their activities may led him to jail. After realizing this, he struggled to get freedom from his activities. This book provides many concepts related to intercultural communication. The other factors including microculture and racism found in American society (Aguirre‐Rodriguez170).
Metaphor is a word or concept used in a figurative meaning by the similarity or contrast of the properties of objects, phenomena. A metaphor is one of the most powerful receptions of expressiveness, close to personification, allegory, reification (McVee15). Metaphors are unusually diverse; they can be qualified on various grounds: a) according to the degree of aesthetic impact - linguistic and artistic. b) by the nature of the comparison attribute - personifying (personifying), materializing, abstracting (symbol) and concretizing (allegory). c) in structure use as lexical and expanded. In this memoir, “crossing borders” are explicitly illustrates the actual meaning and purpose behind this memoir (Oswick, Cliff, and John 501).
“Crossing border” , is not a very simple term to understand. There are two kind of borders one is external and other is internal. To transforms, one’s life , one need to cross both the borders. Furthermore, Rodriguez give the concept of internal “crossing border”, when he decided to leave the criminal activities and his gang. It is also another way of crossing border because this is something that allowed a good transaction between good and bad. He crossed the border of bad activities and jump in to new life , in which he had a chance to spend much better life. It was not easy for him to leave gang ,but he showed some courage and get rid of that dirty life, but racism, poverty and discrimination were some realities that he still need to face.
Additionally, internal border is mind make up and change from inside and a good example of crossing internal border is the transformation in the personality of Rodriguez from gangster to literary figure. Whereas, the external barriers may be the obstacles produced by society or culture that hindrance one to survive or achieve anything. Racism is a concept, that tells the challenges faced by minorities and Rodriguez discusses this concept to clarify his audience , that why he join gang. As he narrates the difficulties that he confronted at school, at job search, and in relating to the rest of society so one can understand his reasoning appropriately. Due to his race, he was bullied in school, discriminated at job search and found hate for him because he was Mexican. But the saddest thing is still prevailing of racism in USA even after many years, when Rodriguez found the same racism for his son. And the concept of racism and discrimination lead to destructive micro culture (Metcalf 42) . Again the use of metaphor “Crossing border “ works here because family first crossed borders to get immigration and then this crossing border refers to crossing cultural limits ad join gang.
Poverty and unemployment was common and experienced by narrator. In the beginning of this novel, Rodriguez and his family faced many difficulties including poor housing, bad neighborhood, poverty, lack of social amnesties because they have crossed borders. In Always Running, crossing borders stands out micro culture and gang activities in the community. As Rodrigues states in his novel “We never stopped crossing borders”( Rodriguez49).
Moreover, the philosophy generates hatred among the superior race and the minorities leading to the creation of damaging micro cultures like Chicago gangs. The mobs encourage violence and burglary, thus disturbing the safety of an area. The book also talks the intercultural idea of micro-cultures. The philosophy denotes to perceptible groups of individuals existing within some leading cultural setting. Metaphor, “Crossing border “ is also used to show rebellion. In most cases, these inter cultural societies contain individuals who are either rebells or faithful advocates of idea in the pre-existing civilization. Concludingly, the author presented the concept of metaphor with all his mastery and presented the deeper meanings of “crossing borders” as metaphor.
Aguirre‐Rodriguez, Alexandra. "Cultural factors that impact brand personification strategy
effectiveness." Psychology & Marketing 31.1 (2014): 70-83.
McVee, Mary B. "The challenge of more light, the complexity of culture: lessons learned in
exploring the cultural positioning of literacy teachers." Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 35.1 (2014): 1-15.
Metcalf, Josephine. "From Rage to Rap and Prison to Print:. Social, Cultural and Commercial
Contexts in the Emergence of Gang Memoirs." European journal of American studies 4.4-2 (2009).
Oswick, Cliff, and John Montgomery. "Images of an organization: the use of metaphor in a
multinational company." Journal of Organizational Change Management 12.6 (1999): 501-523.
Rodriguez, Luis. "Always running: La vida loca." Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Selected
Readings (2007): 54.
Rosaldo, Renato. "Cultural citizenship, inequality, and multiculturalism." Latino cultural
citizenship: Claiming identity, space, and rights 2738 (1997).
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