Ruben Martinez's Crossing Over: Book Analysis

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Ruben Martinez’s Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail follows Martinez as he gathers stories from those in the village of Cherán after the death of the three Chávez brothers: Benjamin, Jaime, and Salvador. Through this, Martinez collects stories of the families in Cheran, a small village in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. Through the collection of these stories, Martinez states in the end of the first part of the novel a prophecy: the cultural hybridization of the Mexicans in the United States will lead to a browning of the America. In other words, Martinez prophesizes that the future of America holds a new culture, through the ongoing process of cultural hybridization. Although the ongoing relationship between the two countries, …show more content…
Martinez describes, “There: Rosa drove a tractor once when she and Wense worked on a farm outside St. Louis. Up there, they have an apartment of their own, with hot and cold running water, an indoor bathroom, a sofa, an electric stove. Wense acts differently up there; he helps with the dishes. She can probably convince him to teach her to drive the white Buick he recently bought and left behind in the care of a friend” (Martinez 149). This contradicts his previous statement of cultural hybridization. The question of, if cultural hybridization and the syncretism of cultures were true, Wense would remain constant in both Cheran and in America is challenged. Here, Martinez contradicts his original thesis; the prophecy is put into question. The fact that Wense is different in America and Cheran reveals something important: that one’s surrounding influences them more than one can imagine. In Cheran, Wense seems to . Martinez, although contradicting his original thesis, reaffirms the possibility of the fulfillment of his prophecy when he writes when Rose and Wense are finally reunited for good in St. Louis, “Because Rosa has made it. She is home. She is finally home” (Martinez 191). The difference between home and homeland is shown; home, here, is therefore where Rosa’s loved one is. …show more content…
Seeing them in Watsonville, California, Martinez describes, “I see Benjamin, Jaime, and Salvador Chavez at the Zamora bus station… I see the truck flipping over into the ditch. I am arriving in the town where they never arrived” (Martinez 301). Martinez’s writing remains constant; as a reflection from the prologue where he describes the death of the Chavez bothers, the reminiscent reminder to the brothers passing reveals why many continue their hard journey to America. Although some may give up, the living—the remaining Chavez brothers—give meaning to the death of their brothers. Similarly, when talking to talking about Maria Elena, Martinez writes, “Well, she said, in the end she decided that if she didn’t cross the line her sons’ death would have been in vain. She had to complete the journey for them. Only this way did their deaths have meaning” (Martinez 327). Martinez, here, highlights the inspiration and motivation that will ultimately result in the fulfillment of his prophecy. Many of the Mexicans come over to execute what so many of their loved ones could not. Additionally, through the movement north to America, those who are entering will be a new wave of people: a culturally hybridized, new, brown America. Martinez illustrates the imagery of the browning of America when he describes, “The family—Baltazar, Wense, Rosa, and

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