Judith Ortiz Cofer Analysis Paragraph

Here is the model I wrote on the board today–notice how it uses outside associations with the fruit Cofer mentions in the text, to establish her purpose: to correct unjustified stereotypes.

Cofer begins to dispel the common stereotypes applied to latin women when she points to the ridiculousness of being compared to produce, “I was supposed to ripen, not grow into womanhood like other girls” (para 8). In this brief sentence, the notion of a woman ripening suggests a sudden emergence of sexual maturity, something that is common in agriculture, but outlandish when applied to a human being who is a more complex organism. In this instance the boy at the dance who mistook her for “ripening” early is made to look foolish, and this foolishness becomes synonymous with the accuracy of stereotypes–that is, they are almost always inaccurate. Furthermore, fruit does not have the ability to reason; it is inanimate and starkly different from Cofer, who by her intelligence, transcends stereotypes by being active in helping to correct common misconceptions, which turns out to be the exact reason she is writing this essay. Ultimately, by demonstrating the ignorance of common judgment, Cofer begins to correct the misunderstandings that have lead her, and many like her, to be unfairly marginalized. This astute correction will undoubtedly provoke her readers to consider looking beyond mere physical appearance to an individual’s unique traits before rendering judgment.

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