Maria C. Lara


Modern Languages


Chicana/o Studies


This literature analysis examines the representation of violence in Chicano literature, in particular, gang violence. The violent culture of gangs in the Chicano community is an essential aspect of the works of Luis Rodriguez, Mona Ruiz, Yxta Maya Murray, and Alejandro Morales. By examining the lives of the protagonists in a selection of works by these authors, this analysis aims to determine how gang violence affects the Latino youth portrayed in the texts. The analysis reveals that Latino youth who live in communities where violent gang activities are a part of everyday life often end up joining gangs. The characters decline as drug addiction, imprisonment, or death renders them powerless. Effectively the texts, through their representation of gang violence, make the plea that young Latinos living in gang communities need other options to regain control of their lives and their potential in life.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Dr. Alicia Garza