Bilingualism as a Literary Device Analysis

At Issue

(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

Bilingualism in literature is a means by which writers may clarify, interpret, and communicate a community’s cultural identity. The technique produces a synthesis of cultural attitudes, values, beliefs, and perspectives. One may argue that bilingualism in literature is a powerful way of maintaining a community’s identity within a larger culture. For example, switching from English to Spanish and then back again is one way Chicanos can reflect the norms of their community. In addition, the use of two languages in one literary work produces compelling images.