Why Do You Think Judith Ortiz Cofer Decided to Name Her Story American History?
Judith Ortiz Cofer’s short story “American History” is a poignant account of a young girl’s experience with racism and prejudice in America. The story is set in the 1960s, during the time of the Civil Rights Movement, and follows the journey of Elena, a Puerto Rican girl living in New Jersey. The title of the story – “American History” – holds a great deal of significance and begs the question: why did Cofer choose this particular title for her work?
The Significance of the Title
The choice of title is crucial to any piece of writing. It sets the tone for the story and gives readers an idea about what to expect.
In the case of “American History,” it immediately draws attention to the fact that this is a story about America and its history. But what does this mean in the context of Elena’s story?
One possible interpretation is that Cofer chose this title to highlight how Elena’s experiences are not just limited to her own personal history but are part of a larger narrative – one that involves all Americans. The story shows how racism and prejudice have been deeply ingrained in American society for centuries, affecting people from all walks of life.
The Importance of Representation
Another possible reason why Cofer chose this title is because it speaks to issues surrounding representation. As a Puerto Rican writer, Cofer was acutely aware of how marginalized communities are often excluded from mainstream narratives about American history.
By naming her story “American History,” Cofer is reclaiming this narrative for herself and other marginalized groups who have been left out of traditional historical accounts. She is reminding readers that America’s history is not just a collection of stories about white men and their achievements, but a complex tapestry of experiences that includes people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
In conclusion, the title of Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “American History” is significant for several reasons. It highlights the fact that Elena’s story is part of a larger narrative about America’s history, one that includes people from all walks of life.
It also speaks to issues surrounding representation and the need for marginalized communities to be included in mainstream narratives. Ultimately, this title is a powerful reminder that America’s history is not just a story about a select few, but a shared experience that involves us all.