Once Upon A Quinceanera Analysis

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“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known” (Chuck Palahniuk). Individuals go through many events over long periods of time that effect how they view themselves and treat others. How an individual views and identifies their selves is also know as self-identity. In the Hispanic community, at the age of 15, young girls go through a rite of passage; this rite of passage is called a quinceanera. On the fifteenth birthday of the young girl, a mass is held in her honor to celebrate her transition from childhood to young womanhood. Individuals apart of the Hispanic community believe that a quinceanera is the way for a young girl to find her self through the different activities that are done leading up to and…show more content…
In selections from: Once Upon a Quinceanera Julia Alvarez explains life as a young Hispanic girl at the age of fifteen and the steps that the young girl must take before, during, and after the quinceanera. Finding self-identity is an on going process in a young persons life. An individual’s self-identity is not just based upon one event that happened when they turn a certain age. What many fail to realize is that informal rites of passage affect self-identity more than formal. Things such as a first car, first job, and first child have a bigger effect on self-identity because it adds on a title that one did not have before that moment. There are many components that affect one’s self-identity, although rites of passage may be one component of forming an individual’s self-identity they do not leave a lasting effect on the…show more content…
Alvarez explains this in her passage by saying “The quinceanera is like a rehearsal wedding without a groom, and it sends a clear message to the Latina girl: we expect you to get married, have children, devote yourself to your family” (Alvarez 49). The message that quinceaneras are sending to these young girls is repeated to them through out a lifetime and if the young girls don't obey the wishes of this culture they are then seen as deviant. Rituals such as the quinceanera are rituals that have been taking place for many decades. The quinceaneara has kept the young women of the Latin community in the same mind set for many decades. Many rites of passage have kept individuals in the same mind set over decades for example in the Jewish culture young adults at the age of 13 go through a bar mitzvah, which is for young men, or a bat mitzvah, which is for young women. Bat/Bar mitzvah are events that take place to observe that a young adult of the Jewish culture, who is of age, must now follow the commandments of the Torah. The coming of age event also means that under Jewish law the young adult is able to get married. Much like the Hispanic community, the Jewish community now pressures the young man and woman to find a spouse. In many cultures the older generation wishes to pass on their ideals to the

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