He talks about being a puritan and a Catholic at the same time, and while he has puritan behavior he is a catholic. The real mother and father of the likes of him, an orphan whose real mother shuns. Brown is understandably a book about the many myths that permeate his persona and the beliefs that hold the fabric of the beings we are, we do not know, concludes in his conclusionless book, whence cometh we. He lauds the mestizaje, the Chicano, and reunites himself thereby, his own way to the only community where he matters, the Chicano Community.
Why otherwise would he run over a snake in a so an American truck? To assert himself? and why did he describe the mexican man with the snake hanging around his neck? “don’t tread on me” is the legend most Americans like when there are times of trouble. He ran over one, didn’t care; another mexican, just like him picked it up and placed around his neck, laughing, joking about it, as a trophy, a cohort, a partner in crime. They smashed it, both, and American legend, they mulled the snake and both went back to gloat about it, showing little remorse, he didn’t even look. He is a defiant Chicano in his middle age.
One of the things that most amazed me, is that after he tells us that his father was an orphan he still buys the mythical myth that all Mexicans descend from some sort of Spaniard and indigenous racial intermix. It is a near blind belief in that which he denies he is, “my mexican father” he tells us, and then proceeds to pack the cultural luggage that permeates the fabric of mexican culture, this, despite the fact that he will deny, in your face that he hasn’t any cultura. He lacks a sense of belonging and takes by association that which he all along has questioned, his mexicanness.
As I read this book I often wondered how whites read this book, there is so much in that book, that lacking the appropiate cultural baggage, one is surely to miss gaps tantamount to the Grand Canyon.