Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza Irony

“Illegal” Immigrants (Situational Irony)

In the first chapter, Anzaldúa establishes that the land today known as the American Southwest was not only stolen from Mexico, but had been the homeland of Indigenous people for tens of thousands of years. Ironically, the US state calls undocumented Mexican immigrants “illegal,” even though it is Americans who are illegally occupying land which does not belong to them.

La Chingada (Situational Irony)

In the myth of la Chingada, the Aztecs lost to the Spanish because an Indigenous woman slept with their leader and betrayed their nation. Anzaldúa argues that actually, the Aztecs lost because their own unequal distributions of power, between rich and poor and between men and women, divided the people against the state. Thus, ironically, the very misogyny which created the story of la Chingada was what was actually responsible for the defeat of the Aztecs.

The Coatlicue State (Situational Irony)

In "The Coatlicue State," Anzaldúa discusses how her own writing is guided by periods of inaction which she refers to as Coatlicue states. The dominant white culture views these as laziness, but they are actually what allows her to create.

Undocumented Labor (Situational Irony)

In “el sonavabiche,” a wealthy landowner who hires undocumented immigrants to work his land constantly abuses and takes advantage of them because they are unable to seek legal recourse. The speaker recognizes the irony that the landowner himself is acting illegally by employing undocumented immigrants. She is thus able to turn the tables and force his hand as he has been forcing her family and community.