"Not For Sale" - Judith Ortiz Cofer: Clash between Cultures

Essay by cliffbong732High School, 11th grade December 2006

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Limits placed on the female role in society in the story "Not for Sale" have a clash between American and Puerto Rican cultures. Conflicts between a 16yr old daughter and her father occur multiple times due to limitations of the Puerto Rican culture. The daughter from the story wants to have the freedom of an American girl. With the restrictions enforced, she resorts to reading exotic stories to pass the time.

The women's role in the Puerto Rican culture is not expected to reach further than a homemaker. If you were young, then you must help with the chores around the house. Going out with friends was prohibited, unless you had the proper chaperone. Even at the age of 16, a young woman is highly protected. You may now understand why the father was so over protective and difficult to bare.

The women's role in America is much more different than Puerto Rico. Freedom is given and does not bound a woman to what a male allows. The respect is much higher. Females try to achieve higher standards in life, much more than just a homemaker. At the age of 16, a girl is most likely allowed to be with friends un-chaperoned.

The parents obey the Puerto Rican Culture because it is what they grew up with. They want their daughter to be raised the same way. This is shown because they enforce the same rules. The daughter wants to follow the American culture, but her family restricts her. When arguing with her father, she points out that they do not live in Puerto Rico anymore, it is Patterson, NJ. She uses examples such as the scenery outside to exploit the situation. The parents never seem to care.

So do you see the differences between the family.