Friday, May 25th, 2012...5:16 am

37. Paz and Pachuco

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The pachuco has lost his whole inheritance; language, religion, customs, beliefs.  He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements, defense-less against the stares of everyone. His disguise is his protection, but it also differentiates and isolates him: it both hides him and points him out. (Paz A102)

In this excerpt, Paz describes the “inheritance” of the pachuco in terms of culture: ” language, religion, customs, beliefs.” According to Paz, the pachuco does not have a culture.  The use of the word “defense-less” implies the pachuco needs protection from something.  Paz implies that, in this case, this “inheritance,” or culture, would protect the pachuco; however, the pachuco remains a mere “body and soul.” The pachuco’s “disguise” protects him “against the stares of everyone.” Ironically, this “disguise” also “differentiates and isolates him.” Paz highlights this contradiction: “it both hides him and points him out.”

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