The Firsts and Nevers: Dissecting the First-Generation Experience Through a Multi-Genre Approach
thesisposted on 10.12.2020, 00:00 by Wendy Luna Garcia
In this chapbook-length poetry and prose collection, I take on a multi-genre approach to dissect and understand the first-generation experience through the themes of immigrant child guilt complex, family, socio-political influences, financial dispair, identity crisis, and realization. I believe that to understand myself and my surroundings, I have to express myself through multiple genres to inhabit all the spaces and forms that I have been told not to inhabit from an early age. These words from others fostered the “I can do it, too. Watch me do it all” mentality. The decision of including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in this project stemmed from how interdisciplinary and expansive the experience of being first-generation in the United States feels like. My experience differs greatly from someone of another ethnic/racial descent, yet, I think a commonality is a duality. The duality and doubts of language, of belonging, of being “too much” or “too little” of that ethnic/racial identity, of codeswitching, and many other facets. Yet, within that duality, first-generation identifiées inhabit a plurality of “personas” and are exposed to the harsh realities of life at an earlier age as you will see in my work.