, Research Paper
The Purposes of Luis Valdez s Plays
There are several purposes to the actos; one-act plays written by Luis Valdez such as the play Los Vendidos. The main purpose of Luis Valdez s plays is to educate farmers and the general public. Valdez s plays were a means to get migrants to organize into a viable farm workers’ union. Luis Valdez s plays also challenged the stereotypes of Hispanic Americans and to give an honest portrayal of Hispanic culture and other political and cultural issues.
The plays were used to educate and inform not only the farm workers, but the public as well. Being born a son to a family of migrant workers and working as a migrant farm worker for many years, Valdez used his plays to inform the general public and farm workers around the country. The treatment and conditions that the migrant workers have to endure the he and other migrant workers saw things were just a few things that Valdez, and the other performing in the plays, informed them. Valdez wanted the general public to know that the migrant workers were basically being bought and sold like slaves and treated just the same.
Valdez joined Cesar Chavez’s United Farmworkers in 1965. It was with the support of Ch vez’s movement that Luis Valdez was able to put his theatrical talents to work to form El Teatro Campesino. The El Teatro Campesino was a theater company of fellow workers who performed small skits based on their unique and largely untold experiences as an American under-class in his effort to educate and organize migrants. At the same time the plays helped to educate and organize migrants into a viable farm workers’ union during the Great Delano Grape Strike of 1965. Valdez and Chzvez s plans were to infrom and teach the migrant workers that they, as U.S. citizens had certain right and that they should fight for their right and to stop allowing the farm owners from treating them like machines that could be bought and sold.
Most of the content in Luis Valdez s play challenged the stereotypes of Hispanic Americans and gave an honest portrayal of Hispanic culture. The plays also dealt with political and cultural issues of concern to the movement that were on the people s mind at that present time. Some of the stereotypes that his plays dealt with were that the migrant workers were seen as machines and not people that just needed to be maintained and not treated with respect. The plays also taught Hispanics to embrace their cultural background and not to live up to the stereotypes of the ignorant.
Luis Valdez s plays open the eyes of everyone who watch them to the truth of that way things were, are, and should be. Though you might think that his works would have insulted both Hispanics and Americans, humor was used in clever ways to keep tempers from fling and to still get his point across to his viewers.
Veldez, Luis. Los Vendidos. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvon Barnet Ed. Twelfth Edition, New York: Longman, 2001. 1471-1483