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Zoot Suit Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Zoot Suit.
This section contains 794 words
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Themes

Culture Clash

Henry and his gang are charged with the murder of a fellow Mexican American, Jose Williams, not because there was convincing evidence of their guilt, but because of their ethnic identity and their radical style of dressing and behavior. The underlying conflict that leads to their arrest and unfair trial is a clash between Mexican Americans and the dominant Anglo culture. The zoot suiters represented a small population of Mexican Americans. They sported ducktailed haircuts and slick suits and promenaded with swaggering coolness, affectations which were seen by some Anglos as an affront to mainstream society. More common were the assimilated Mexican Americans of the 1940s, who accepted being segregated in barrios, Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, and who held low-paying, low-status jobs. They were tolerated in society as long as they limited their aspirations and kept out of the way. Enrique is a fully assimilated Mexican American, who works...

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This section contains 794 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Zoot Suit Study Guide
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Zoot Suit from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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