In the novel Pocho, where is Mary moving to?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, let's slip in a very important fact. Pocho, by Jose Antonio Villareal, was published in 1959 and it is regarded as the first novel of its kind. It is the first novel that deals in detail with the issues of Mexican emigration and the fusion of the Mexican and American cultures in a new generation of immigrants growing in the U.S. It was also one of the first novels where these themes were openly discussed: racism, contempt against immigrants, and the confusion of young men of Mexican descent when they are faced with life in a culture that demands different things from them.  Another theme that surfaces, as a result of these others, is that of identity loss. What could Mexican American young men do to distance themselves from their much-criticized heritage? Become something entirely different and devoid of rationale. 

“They had a burning contempt for people of different ancestry, whom they called Americans, and a marked hauteur toward Mexico and toward their parents for their old-country ways. [...]They needed to feel superior to something[...]. The result was that they attempted to segregate themselves from both their cultures, and became truly a lost race.”

Villareal is far from one-sided, though. He also describes how life must have been for the people surrounding these immigrants.

A great example is the Madison family. This Anglo-Protestant family, held very strictly negative views about  the changing neighborhood. It is clear that the Madison parents were entirely against immigrants while daughter Mary, who was madly in love with main character Richard, held a glimpse of hope that maybe she would be able to marry him someday. 

However, that was not to happen. These were the days of the Depression and home was wherever work could be found to make a living. Like many other families in search of a better opportunity, the Madisons left for a better life somewhere else. This time, they left for Chicago once the patriarch of the family was able to find work.