In the short story, “Los Vendidos” by Luis Valdez stereotypes and racism take the main stage. The story takes place in a shop called “Honest Sancho’s Used Mexican Lot” where Mexicans are sold very much like used cars, implying they are property. A woman named Miss. Jimenez, a secretary from Governor Reagan’s office comes to the shop to buy a Mexican for the administration. Honest Sancho, the shops owner proceeds to walk Miss. Jimenez around the shop showing her different “models” of Mexican he had to offer.
The individual “models” appear to have their own identities within the Mexican race and ach identity stands for a stereotype society generally holds of Mexicans. For example, the farm worker respects his “masters,” picks cotton and melons during the season, and doesn’t speak English. Johnny, the urban model knife fights, steals, and speaks rude, broken english. The revolucionario was romantic, rode horses, and started revolutions, like Mexicans portrayed in %3D movies. The Mexican American was educated and “Mexican but American. ” He did not practice his culture daily but could eat a Mexican meal at social events.
In the end, however, the characters were stripped of stereotypical features and seemed o be of one people, all speaking Spanish and working together. The characters wait until Miss. Jimenez has paid for the Mexican- American to turn disrespectful and run her out of the shop, keeping her money. Miss. Jimenez is portrayed in the story as cheap, judgmental, and hypocritical. Throughout the story Honest Sancho shows Miss. Jimenez four “models” and her main question she never forgets to ask is referring to the cost of the Mexicans.
Miss. Jimenez seems to want to pay little to nothing for the Mexicans, implying that they are worth very little. After seeing the first “model”, the farmer, Miss. Jimenez says, “Wonderful. But is he economical? ” to which Sancho replies, “Economical? Senorita, you are looking at the Volkswagen of Mexicans. Pennies a day is all it takes. ” The “cost” of a Mexican is implying how much money it would take to keep it alive, implying that Miss. Jimenez is looking of the cheapest Mexican who can live off the least food. This consideration is with no regard to the Mexicans quality of life, as long as he can still function to do his job.
After observing Miss. Jimenez’s desire for a cheap Mexican Honest Sancho refers to the economic alue for the next to “models” as well, to insure her she will not be throwing her money away. After showing her the third “model” Sancho says, “But he’s Economical. Nickels and dimes. You can keep Johnny running on hamburgers, Taco Bell tacos, Lucky Lager beer, . ” Miss. Jimenez is again considering the cost of the Mexican not his wellbeing or happiness, just what will keep him working. When Sancho shows Miss. Jimenez the final “model” it is a Mexican American model that is very much like she is.
The model is educated, speaks fluent english, and is up to date on politics. When she inquires about the price Sancho tells her $15,000. Miss. Jimenez is appalled and yells, ” Fifteen thousand dollars? For a Mexican! ” Miss. Jimenez then proceeds to purchase the model after Sancho explains that he is priced that high because he is part American. Miss. Jimenez agrees to pay this high price because the “model” is part American. This implies that Miss. Jimenez believes a part American Mexican is better, and worth more than a regular Mexican, a common stereotype amongst Americans. Miss.
Jimenez is cheap towards the Mexican insisting that they are not worth much in her opinion. While she is shopping Miss. Jimenez constantly judges the Mexicans based on what Sancho is telling her. Each judgement she makes is another reason for her not to pay for the Mexican. First, Miss. Jimenez judges the farmer for not being able to speak english. After being told that he does not speak english she replies, “We need something a little more sophisticated. ” This remark means that she was judging the Mexican based on the fact that he could not speak english, and because of this assuming that he was less sophisticated than her.
Then, Sancho shows Miss. Jimenez the “city model” he demonstrates to her hat the model knows how to “liberate”. Johnny steals Miss. Jimenez’s purse and starts running away until he is stopped by Sancho. A feature that Sancho thought would be a selling point turned into a reason for her not to by him. Miss. Jimenez said, “No, no, no! We can’t have any more thieves in the State Administration. Put him back. ” Immediately noticing that she said “any more thieves” implying that all the Mexicans there are thieves too. Miss. Jimenez is judging based on the fact that she believes all Mexicans to be thieves and dishonest.
The largest and most disrespectful judgment Miss. Jimenez makes is that Americans are better then Mexicans. Upon being shown three possible “models” that did not suit her needs, she says to Sancho, “You still don’t understand what we need. It’s true we need Mexican models, such as these, but it’s more important that he be American. ” Miss. Jimenez is implying that American Mexicans are better than Mexicans because in her opinion they are more educated, bilingual, and well-mannered. This is why she appreciates the Mexican American more than she did the Mexican “models”. Finally, Miss.
Jimenez is extremely hypocritical towards the Mexicans due to the fact that she too is Mexican. When she first enters the shop she introduces herself to Sancho, he welcomes her to shop saying “Welcome senorita Jimenez”. she then gets extremely offended by the way he pronounced her name with an accent and immediately corrects him, “My name is Miss JIM- enez. Don’t you speak English? Whats wrong with you? ” Miss. Jimenez does not like her name to be said with the Mexican accent because she does not want to associate with her heritage or for others to know that she is Mexican.
Then, as Sancho is explaining to her the features of the “farming model” e says, “As you can see he is cutting grapes” to which she replies, “Oh, I wouldn’t know. ” Miss. Jimenez says this to reiterate the fact that she better than Mexicans because she is a Americna Mexican. She does not wish to be associated with Mexicans because of the bad stereotypes and she does not wish to be seen as an equal to the Mexicans she is looking to purchase. Finally, when Sancho is explaining more features of the “farming model” and demonstrating to her the different speeds at which it can work she gets very enthusiastic and says, “Chihuahua… ean, goodness, he sure is a hard worker.
For a second she let her Mexican roots get the best of her and use a phrase that many Mexicans would use. She quickly corrected herself because she realized that what she had said was incorrect for an American. Miss. Jimenez wants to distance herself as far from the Mexican culture as she can now that she is living in America. this hypocritical attitude is probably common amongst many in her situation, American- Mexicans are viewed as better than Mexicans and attempt to stay as far away from Mexican stereotypes as possible because they believe they are above them.