Elements of folklore in “House of Houses” by Pat Mora
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Growing up in an immigrant family in America is a challenge for individuals, for they face the dilemma of abandoning their cultural identity through assimilation into the mainstream Anglo-American culture. Pat Mora, a Mexican-American writer, in her memoir House of Houses develops the theme of the preservation of one's ethnic self through folk elements—storytelling, proverbs, sayings, recipes, home remedies, and beliefs—which serve as links among generations. The thesis examines how folk customs and traditions, passed down from generation to generation through storytelling, daily educating of the young by the elders, observing the family rituals, nurturing earth, and preserving the native language, help the characters of Houses of Houses withstand the cultural clashes in America, embrace the mainstream culture, and sustain their ancestral heritage as well.